David Hajdu is the music critic for The Nation and a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Before joining The Nation in January 2015, he served for more than ten years as the music critic for The New Republic. He is currently at work on a “fictional work of nonfiction,” a biography of a nonexistent songwriter, to be published by W. W. Norton. He is also collaborating with the artist John Carey on a book of graphic nonfiction about vaudeville, to be published by Columbia University Press.
Hajdu is the author of four books of nonfiction and one collection of essays: Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn (1996), Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña and Richard Fariña (2001), The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America (2008), Heroes and Villains: Essays on Music, Movies, Comics, and Culture (2009), and Love for Sale: Pop Music in America (fall 2016).
As a critic and journalist, Hajdu has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award, and his articles and essays have been selected for a number of anthologies, including Best Music Writing, Best American Magazine Writing, The New York Times Arts & Culture Reader, Best American Comics Writing, and OK You Mugs: Writers on Movie Actors.
Hajdu is married to the singer Karen Oberlin. He and his family live in Manhattan.