Lena Dunham will adapt 'Catherine, Called Birdy' as a film

'Catherine' is by writer Karen Cushman.

'Catherine, Called Birdy' is by Karen Cushman.

“Girls” creator, star, and writer Lena Dunham has announced she’s shepherding an adaptation of the novel “Catherine, Called Birdy” by Karen Cushman to the big screen. 

Dunham discussed her involvement with the planned movie adaptation of the young adult novel at the New Yorker Festival on Oct. 10.

“I’m going to adapt it and hopefully direct it,” she said, according to Variety. “I just need to find someone who wants to fund a PG-13 medieval movie.”

She said of the narrative, “It’s hyper realistic and really pretty and it’s full of incest and beatings, but it’s a child’s story," according to the Los Angeles Times. "I’ve been obsessed with it since I was a kid.”

“Catherine” centers on the girl of the title, who is 14 and living in the year 1290. She is the daughter of a knight and tries to avoid getting married. It was first published in 1994 and is a Newbery Honor title. It received many positive reviews upon release, with School Library Journal giving it a starred review and calling the protagonist “a delightful, rebellious heroine” and writing that the book is “superb historical fiction,” while Publishers Weekly wrote that Cushman’s novel “introduces an admirable heroine and pungently evokes a largely unfamiliar setting.”

Cushman is also the author of such titles as  “Matilda Bone,” “Will Sparrow’s Road,” “The Ballad of Lucy Whipple,” and “The Midwife’s Apprentice,” which won the Newbery Medal. “Whipple” was adapted as a TV movie starring Glenn Close and Jena Malone in 2001.

Dunham herself recently became an author with the publication of her memoir “Not That Kind of Girl,” which was published on Sept. 30. It’s currently ranked at second place on the New York Times combined print and e-book nonfiction list for Oct. 19 and NYT critic Michiko Kakutani called the work “as acute and heartfelt as it is funny.”

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