Ada Calhoun is the author of instant New York Times bestseller Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis, an expansion of her viral story for Oprah.com about the unique circumstances faced by Generation X women. One of the Amazon Editors’ best nonfiction books of 2020, a Goodreads Choice Award Finalist, and an Indie Next Pick, Why We Can’t Sleep was one of the biggest books of the season according to the New York Times, Parade, and O magazine.
Calhoun’s prior two nonfiction books, both Amazon Books of the Month, are the New York City history St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Street, a New York Times Editors’ Pick named one of the best books of the year by Kirkus Reviews, the Boston Globe, Orlando Weekly, the New York Post, and the Village Voice, which in a cover profile named her “the most important new voice on Old New York”; and the memoir Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give, named one of the top ten memoirs of 2017 and featured twice on the Today show. Her next book, a memoir coming from Grove Press and in original audio from Audible in Spring 2022, is Also a Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me.
Past jobs include crime reporter for the New York Post, frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review, and theater listings editor for New York magazine. Calhoun is also an A‑list ghostwriter, having collaborated on twenty major nonfiction books, including multiple New York Times bestsellers.
She has written for Time, National Geographic Traveler, the Times Literary Supplement, the New Republic, Billboard, Cosmopolitan, the Washington Post, and Redbook; and contributed three essays to the New Yorker’s “Page-Turner” column; and three “Modern Love,” and four “Lives” columns to the New York Times. Her contribution to Beastie Boys Book was called “one of the more effective guest-star turns.”
Her national news reporting has won awards including a USC-Annenberg National Health Journalism Fellowship, a Kiplinger fellowship, a CCF Media Award (for her New York Times Magazine work on a legal challenge in Alabama), a Croly Award, and an Alicia Patterson Foundation fellowship. She received a MacDowell colony stay for St. Marks Is Dead, and has been granted residencies in the New York Public Library’s scholars’ rooms for her other books.
Co-founder of the reading series Sob Sisters, she’s spoken at conferences and book festivals around the country; and taught public affairs reporting at Hofstra University, creative non-fiction at the Rutgers Summer Conference, and memoir and proposal writing at the Miami Book Fair’s Writers Institute, for which she is now serving as the first 2020 – 21 Emerging Writer Fellowship nonfiction mentor. She lives in New York City.