Dun­ham and Coates, mu­tual ad­mir­ers, talk writ­ing and Trump

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

"Girls" cre­ator Lena Dun­ham and au­thor-es­say­ist TaNe­hisi Coates, strangers un­til Mon­day night, found they had a lot in com­mon. Es­pe­cially when the sub­ject was the up­com­ing pres­i­dency of Don­ald Trump. "If what has to hap­pen is that I get metaphor­i­cally strung up by my toes be­cause I think we were all born equal and beau­ti­ful, then that's just what's go­ing to hap­pen," Dun­ham said. "As ter­ri­fied and as hor­ri­ble as I think the events of the elec­tion were, I live for this mo­ment. I think this is a great time," said Coates, adding that Trump's vic­tory had filled him with de­ter­mi­na­tion and a sense of pur­pose. "I make books and I make ar­ti­cles, and now I have a for­mi­da­ble op­po­nent."

The event was or­ga­nized by the Peter­bor­ough, New Hamp­shire-based MacDow­ell artist colony and was held be­fore more than 150 MacDow­ell sup­port­ers at the New Mu­seum in down­town Man­hat­tan. Pulitzer Prize-win­ning nov­el­ist and MacDow­ell board chair­man Michael Chabon, who mod­er­ated the dis­cus­sion, says the idea was to have a "sparky" con­ver­sa­tion be­tween artists of dif­fer­ent fields and back­grounds, an ap­proach sim­i­lar to last year's MacDow­ell gath­er­ing that fea­tured Martin Scors­ese and Lin-Manuel Mi­randa of "Hamil­ton" fame.

Dun­ham, au­thor of the best-sell­ing es­say col­lec­tion "Not That Kind of Girl" and at work on a novel, is a self-de­scribed "rich white girl" from New York City. Coates grew up in a rough neigh­bor­hood in Bal­ti­more and went on to be­come one of the coun­try's lead­ing voices on race through his com­men­tary for The At­lantic Mag­a­zine and his best-sell­ing "Be­tween the World and Me." But Dun­ham says that she has long ad­mired Coates' work, and Coates has writ­ten warmly about "Girls," which has been crit­i­cized for its scarcity of black ac­tors. In 2013, he re­viewed the show in The At­lantic, call­ing it "re­ally, re­ally funny" and prais­ing it for its can­did and lib­er­at­ing de­pic­tions of sex.

In this file photo, Lena Dun­ham ar­rives at the Glam­our Women of the Year Awards at NeueHouse Hol­ly­wood in Los Angeles. — AP

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