Sometimes it becomes very apparent which celebrities are the same age as me, and hearing that Lena Dunham is adapting the book Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman is one of those times. I think I read that book at least a dozen times between 5th grade and 8th grade. It was one of my favorites as a kid, and while it wasn’t especially challenging it didn’t paint a pretty picture of the life of a noble young woman in 1290. This was not a princess story, it was just life. Written in the first person as a journal, Birdy told readers about her day to day life as a 13 year old in 1290, with the main thrust of the story being her father’s efforts to find her a husband.
Dunham says she wants to adapt it into a PG-13 movie, which makes sense to me. While I read the book when I was younger than 13 and loved it, there are some themes and incidents that would warrant a PG-13 if they were portrayed accurately. Birdy witnesses beatings, alcoholism, and a hanging as she goes about her life and she writes about all of them.
There’s no timeline on when we could expect to see Dunham’s adaptation yet, it’s just something she’s working on, but as someone else who primarily grew up during the 90s and read the book nearly to shreds I’m interested to see what she does with it. Dunham says she’s excited and has been “obsessed with it since I was a kid” so I feel good about what she’ll do with it. While I know a lot of us have mixed feelings about Girls based on the type of characters portrayed, I have found that Dunham’s writing is cutting and vulnerable at times and I think it could work out very well with this story.