Andrea Long Chu on Liking and Hating

 The Critic and Her Publics is a live interview series that asks the best and most prominent critics working today to perform criticism on the spot, on an object they’ve never seen before. It’s a glimpse into brilliant minds at work, performing their thinking, taking risks, and making spontaneous judgments, which are sometimes right and sometimes wrong. 

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From the episode:

Merve Emre: A friend of mine described Andrea Long Chu’s approach to criticism as perfecting a rigorous negativity. We all know how deeply fun it can be to hate on something for long and intense periods of time, but as any good analyst or theorist of emotion might point out, there always exists a hard kernel of love in hate. It’s an abiding love for the sheer act of thinking that I always sense in Andrea’s work. She’s this year’s recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism and the book critic at New York Magazine.

Her book Females was published by Verso in 2019 and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Nonfiction. I’m sure many of you have read her blockbuster reviews of books by Maggie Nelson, Ottessa Moshfegh, and most recently Zadie Smith, as well as her essays on Phantom of the Opera and—my favorite—on the children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit. I’m very happy to have her as our inaugural guest. Welcome, Andrea.

Andrea Long Chu: Thank you for having me.

For a full transcript and details of the piece Andrea responded to, head over to the New York Review of Books.


Andrea Long Chu is a Pulitzer Prize-winning essayist and critic at New York magazine. Her book Females: an extended annotation of a lost play by Valerie Solanas was published by Verso in 2019 and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Nonfiction. Her writing has also appeared in n+1, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, Bookforum, Boston Review, Chronicle of Higher Education, 4Columns, and Jewish Currents.


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