is a book author and journalist.
Ada Calhoun is author of the forthcoming nonfiction book Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis, an expansion of her viral story for Oprah.com about Generation X women. "A generation-defining exploration of the new midlife crisis facing Gen X women and the unique circumstances that have brought them to this point," Why We Can't Sleep will be published by Audible Originals (thanks to what the New York Times called "a highly unusual deal") and Grove Atlantic in January 2020.
Calhoun's last two books, both named Amazon Books of the Month:, were: New York City history St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Street, and memoir Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give.
Named one of the top ten memoirs of 2017, Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give has been called “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). Modern Love published the book's first serial excerpt as "To Stay Married, Embrace Change;" it reached #1 on the Most Emailed list. The book was featured on the Today show and as a "Hot Book" in Star. The press release for the paperback, published June 2018, is here.
St. Marks Is Dead is a 400-year history of the New York City street where the author grew up. It has been 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 this related op-ed about cities and change. A New York Times Editors’ Pick, St. Marks Is Dead was named one of the best books of the year by Kirkus, the Boston Globe, Orlando 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.”
The Voice article also said: "Her CV can seem as though it were cobbled together from the résumés of three ambitious journalists."
In addition to writing her own books, Calhoun has worked as an A-list ghostwriter since 2009, collaborating on fourteen books for major publishers, including several New York Times bestsellers.
She continues to freelance for newspapers and magazines, as she has for the past twenty years. She has written for Time, the Times Literary Supplement, The New Republic, Billboard, The New Yorker online (including three “Page-Turner” columns), Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and several sections of the New York Times—including two op-eds, three Modern Loves, and four Lives columns. Past roles include crime reporter for the New York Post, frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review, and theater critic for New York magazine.
Her national news reporting has won multiple awards, including a USC-Annenberg National Health Journalism Fellowship, Kiplinger fellowship, CCF Media Award (for her New York Times Magazine reporting in Alabama), Croly Award, and an Alicia Patterson Foundation fellowship.
Calhoun is an advocate for libraries and a mentor to younger writers. She has taught writing at various colleges and workshops, including public affairs reporting at Hofstra University, creative non-fiction at the Rutgers Summer Conference, and memoir at the 2018 Miami Book Fair's Writers Institute. She has been a panelist or speaker at a dozen book festivals and appeared on national radio and television, including three times on the Today show.Download Press Kit