Jan 21, 2014 2:54PM

Lena Dunham vs Judy Blume: The Highlights

"When you ask, Did writing change my life? It totally changed my life. It gave me my life."

Both writers, both highly successful 'voices of their generation' who win at life. Tween author Judy Blume and Lena Dunham recently sat down together to discuss all things relating to writing, sex and feminism for San Fransicsco literary mag The Believer and now there's an excerpt online! Having the embodiment of the privledged yet lost 20-something females in the same room as the queen of embarrasing period/boys/bullying sagas was quite possibly the best head-to-head idea we've seen in a while. Here are some highlights:

On risque pre-teen literature:
Lena: I was a very precocious reader. I read a lot of things I didn't understand. Like I read Lolita when I was nine.
Judy: But it didn't matter, because it went right over your head. That's why I tell parents not to worry.
Lena: Exactly. I had no clue what anybody was talking about. I don't think any of the depictions of sex were more to me than just, like, an image of two people's arms rubbing together; I just had no clue. But I took Forever to the bathroom to read and then I heard my mum coming — we were at our country house — and so I stuck it under the toilet and went running out. I went back later to check for it and it was gone. I was freaked out. My babysitter came up to me and she said, 'Did you take my copy of Forever? I saw it in the bathroom, under the toilet.' And I told her that my cat had put it there, which at the time seemed like a really great excuse.

On writing:
Lena: I was always really encouraged to write stories, which was a kind of part of the education that I had.
Judy: You were lucky.
Lena: I was really lucky. But looking back on the kinds of things I chose to write about, it was all families who gave up their daughter for adoption, then she became a pauper, then she came back to kill them all. It was all so heavy, so deeply heavy, and I called them all novels no matter how short they were. Always.

On being a lady:
Judy: I wasn't happy following my mother's prescription for me. The 50s mother prescription for their daughter is you go to college to meet a husband, because if you don't find him in college, you're never going to find him. 
Lena: And then you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than of getting married. All of that.
Judy: And so I married really young, although not as young as some. I was 21.
Lena: Which to me sounds like a baby.
Judy: Yes it's very young. What did I know? I knew nothing. I had finished my junior year at NYU and there I was, married. And then the next step is you have a baby, and you have another baby, and I liked babies but I was missing something. That creative something.