Thora Siemsen and Andrea Long Chu at The Nation:
TS: Lines from Valerie Solanas’s play Up Your Ass open each chapter of Females. How did this choice help determine the book’s structure?
ALC: Verso had initially approached me about doing an introduction to Up Your Ass, which they were thinking about publishing. Eventually that idea morphed, and we decided I would just write a short book—but I still wanted Up Your Ass to be essential to it. I also wanted the book to be more experimental in form. I was thinking brief, numbered axioms, like Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle. That [idea] was a disaster. While it was freeing to be able to jump around from idea to idea, it was also painful and exhausting. I ended up with all these fragments and no coherent book, and I still hadn’t worked Up Your Ass into it. So I turned in the draft, came back to revise it after my surgery, and realized that the play could serve as the spine of the book. I more or less follow the whole play from start to finish. That transformed the book from this bad archipelago of thoughts into a single whole. The play was the answer.