The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Dunham’s book tour to stop in Iowa City

Lena Dunham, it seems, is determined to make it to Iowa City come hell or high water — and everyone knows Iowa City has plenty of high water.        

Though the University of Iowa denied the request of Dunham’s HBO series “Girls” to film on campus, Dunham will be in Iowa City this fall to promote her new book, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”, which will be released on Sept. 30.

Dunham’s publicist contacted Prairie Lights, 15 S. Dubuque St., a few months ago to see if the bookstore would be willing to host her, because Dunham “really wanted to come and read.”

Prairie Lights co-owner Jan Weissmiller said bookstore officials were certainly interested and teamed up with the Englert Theater, 221 E. Washington St., to bring Dunham to the Englert at 7 p.m. Oct. 7. Tickets are $30 and include a signed copy of her book.

“We’re thrilled that people in town can see her,” Weissmiller said. “We know people in town want to see her, and this seems like a perfect compromise; classes aren’t disrupted, and she gets to be here with us.”

Dunham’s publicist wanted her in Iowa City close to the book’s release date. Iowa City will be the fourth of 11 stops on her book tour, after New York, Boston, and Chicago.

Her tour was officially announced Tuesday morning, allowing Prairie Lights to start advertising the event.

Weissmiller said tickets started selling Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., and by about 1 p.m. that day, 50 had been sold. There are 700 tickets available.

“We had people calling from all over the country this morning. Those 50 people have been from New York, Missouri, Iowa, all over,” Weissmiller said. “So if it holds steady, they won’t last for long.”

Weissman anticipated the public’s enthusiasm for the event, which was a large factor in deciding to use the Englert as the venue.

“We knew we would need a big space, and the Englert is our favorite large venue, so we chose a date partially based on when the Englert would be available,” Weissmiller said.

Once Dunham gets a taste of Iowa City, perhaps she’ll choose to plan a return visit.

The denial to film on the UI’s campus came after Vice President for Strategic Communication Joseph Brennan looked over the “Girls” scripts for episodes set on campus and determined the story line did not paint a flattering picture of the university and the community.

In addition, officials felt the presence of a film crew would be disruptive to members of the Writers’ Workshop. University officials, however, did provide producers with contact information for city officials in case the show still wished to film in Iowa City.

Despite not being able to film on campus, it seems the show’s producers still very much wish to be on location in Iowa City.

“We are going to definitely go to Iowa City, and we will shoot some there,” Jesse Peretx, one of the directors of “Girls,” told a reporter with the website Vulture in April.

Assuming the cast and crew do venture out of New York and into Iowa, some local venues may offer their locations for filming.

Prairie Lights certainly would.

“We’re not an educational institution that needs to have privacy,” Weissmiller said.  “I think filming in a classroom could be a disruptive thing; filming in a bookstore is not.”

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