Just like the rest of us in isolation, Lena Dunham is looking for things to keep her occupied. To pass the time, and provide entertainment for the rest of us, the writer is publishing a novel – but with a twist. Each day, Vogue will share one chapter of Dunham’s book, called Verified Strangers, with readers given the opportunity to choose what happens next.
In an Instagram video announcement, Dunham said: “I think that even during social distancing, it’s important to find ways to connect, and one of those is through storytelling, which is why I’m going to be writing a romance novel, exclusively for Vogue.com.”
“The part that makes it communal is that you get to vote on where the story goes,” she continued. “Tomorrow, after the next instalment, exclusively on Instagram Stories, you take the poll and decide what Ally does next.” In an accompanying caption, Dunham explained that readers would “ultimately decide who (if anyone!) our protagonist, Ally, ends up with”.
The writer concluded: “Please also be safe and stay indoors! That’s what this whole thing is for people – what am I writing for? What’s the purpose?”
Verified Strangers’first chapter appeared on Vogue yesterday (March 23), and follows protagonist Ally as she endures a dreadful dating app date, swears off dating for good, and pays a regretful visit to her ex.
You can read Verified Strangers: Chapter One here, and head over to Vogue’s Instagram Stories at 12pm GMT (8am EDT) today (March 24) to vote on what happens next.
In the meantime, look back at our End of the Decade interview with Lena Dunham here, as she reflects on Girls, her frequent cancellation, and what she’s learned over the last ten years.