Ada Calhoun
is a book author and journalist.

Photo by Jena Cumbo for the Village Voice.

Ada Calhoun is the author of two books published by W.W. Norton & Co.: the New York history St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Street (2015) and the essay collection Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give (2017). She has also collaborated on a dozen other books for major publishers, including several New York Times bestsellers. 

Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give is an unflinching but also loving portrait of her marriage prompted by her popular 2015 Modern Love essay, one of the most-read stories in the New York Times that year. 

Reviews have called it “realistic, loving, laugh-out-loud funny” (Publishers Weekly); “graceful, hilarious” (Library Journal); “engaging, wise, lovely” (Kirkus); “original, engrossing” (New York Times Book Review); and “warm-hearted, Ephron-esque” (Washington Post). In July, it was named an Amazon Book of the Month. Both realistic and open-hearted, Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give offers a refreshing new way to think about marriage as a brave, tough, creative decision to stay with another person for the rest of your life. “What a burden,” Calhoun calls marriage, “and what a gift.”

Modern Love published the book's first serial excerpt on April 23, 2017 as "To Stay Married, Embrace Change;" it reached #1 on the Most Emailed list.

The cover of the October 28, 2015, Village Voice

St. Marks Is Dead is a 400-year history of the New York City street where Calhoun grew up. It was called  “revelatory” (Kirkus), “captivating” (Publishers Weekly), “delightful” (Wall Street Journal), “timely, provocative, and stylishly written” (Atlantic) and “an ecstatic roll call” (New York Times Book Review). The New Yorker online published the first serial excerpt, and the New York Times ran the related op-ed about cities and change. 

New York Times Editors’ Pick and Amazon Book of the Month, St. Marks Is Dead was named one of the best books of the year by Kirkus, the Boston GlobeOrlando Weekly, the New York Post, and the Village Voice, and it won the gold medal for U.S. History in the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards. The Voice called it 2015’s “Best Nonfiction Book About New York,” and in a cover profile named its author “the most important new voice on Old New York.”

As a journalist, Calhoun has freelanced for newspapers and magazines since 1998, at times serving as a crime reporter for the New York Post, a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review, and a theater critic for New York magazine. 

Her national news reporting has won multiple awards: a 2015 USC-Annenberg National Health Journalism Fellowship, a 2014 Kiplinger fellowship, a 2013 CCF Media Award (for her New York Times Magazine reporting in Alabama), and a 2014 Alicia Patterson Foundation fellowship; one of her Patterson stories won the 2015 Croly Award. 

She has written for Time, the Times Literary Supplement, The New Republic, BillboardO, (including three “Page-Turner” columns), CosmopolitanRedbook, and several sections of the New York Times—including two op-eds, three Modern Loves, and four Lives columns. 

She lives in New York City with her husband and son.

Literary Agent: Daniel Greenberg

Book Publicist: Kyle Radler at W.W. Norton