New York Times staff critic Alexandra Jacobs picked Also a Poet as her favorite memoir of the year:
My favorite memoir of 2022 — the one I recommend unequivocally to anyone who asks that perennial question “What’s good?” — was ALSO A POET, by Ada Calhoun. It’s about her coming-of-age as a writer in the long shadow of her father, the New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl, and her efforts to finish the biography he started of the charismatic writer and curator Frank O’Hara, who died in a freak accident on Fire Island at 40 (the book’s title comes from his New York Times obituary). Highlight: a thrilling basement discovery of dusty cassette tapes containing long-ago, untranscribed interviews with various cultural luminaries. Cathartically, Schjeldahl lived to praise the book, which does not spare his parenting, before dying in October of the lung cancer he’d written about himself.