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Random House Gives Rape-Hoaxer Lena Dunham Her Own Book-Publishing Imprint

Lena Dunham has scored her own imprint at publishing giant Random House.

The 29-year old Girls writer and actress will publish both fiction and non-fiction literature under a new imprint — which is a series of titles under a brand catering to a specific readership — called “Lenny,” named after the actress’s Lenny Letter feminist newsletter. Lenny Letter co-founder and fellow Girls writer Jenni Konner will join Dunham in launching the imprint, according to Buzzfeed.

“While we love our home on the Internet, Jenni and I are both voracious readers (of books and book reviews) who are constantly trading titles and allowing them to stir us creatively,” Dunham told the outlet.

“Our friendship often doubles as a book club,” she added. “We feel like the Lenny voice lends itself to a diverse list of authors and we are so excited to work with Random House — they get our mission completely. Lenny books will aspire to push the ball forward on the issues that matter to our audience, with wit and style. We hope to see them sticking out of purses and riding public transportation everywhere.”

Random House published Dunham’s 2014 memoir Not That Kind of Girl. In December of that year, the publishing giant was forced to issue a statement clearing up the “confusion” surrounding a subject in Dunham’s memoir, simply called “Barry,” whom the actress accused of rape. The publisher reportedly took two months to issue a statement exonerating “Barry,” an Oberlin College alumnus who was easily identifiable from Dunham’s description but who was innocent of any wrong-doing.

“The name ‘Barry’ referenced in the book is a pseudonym. Random House, on our own behalf and on behalf of our author, regrets the confusion,” the publisher said in a statement at the time, while offering to pay Barry’s attorney’s fees.

In a statement Wednesday, Random House vice president and editor in chief Andy Ward called the new Lenny imprint “a natural extension of Random House’s relationship with Lena Dunham.”

“Working with Lena, Jenni and the editors of Lenny, we plan to publish a select number of titles each year to build a varied, compelling, and voice-driven list,” he added. “Drawing on their eye for talent and love of books, we see this as a perfect opportunity to broaden what we do at Random House, while staying true to our mission: to work with writers we love and to publish them well.”

The imprint is expected to launch next year.

Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum

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