Ada Calhoun

Essays, Reporting, Criticism

I’ve been a freelance writer since 1998. These days I mostly write books, but sometimes I do personal essays, national news reporting, and book criticism. Here are some examples of each.

Personal Essays
The Unruly Pleasures of the Mid-Manhattan Library,”, February 22, 2016.
What Went Wrong at St Mark’s Bookshop,”, February 12, 2016.
Op-Ed: My City Was Gone. (Or Was It?),”New York Times: Opinion, November 1, 2015.
The Many Lives of St. Marks Place,”, October 30, 2015. (First Serial of St. Marks Is Dead.)
Call Me What You Will,” O magazine, November 2015.
Vintage Shopping Isn’t What It Used To Be,”, September 6, 2015.
Modern Love: The Wedding Toast I’ll Never Give,” New York Times: Sunday Styles, July 19, 2015. NYT follow-up with reader responses.
The Riots in Tompkins Square Park, Reenacted,” New, May 21, 2014.
The Secret to Staying Friends in Your Thirties,”, April 21, 2015.
Going Back Home: Unlocking the Secrets of Postresidency Stress Syndrome,” Poets & Writers, February 2014.
Sex Games, Anyone?Cosmopolitan, December 2013.
Davy Rothbart, Jack Kerouac 2.0,” MadeMan, September 18, 2013.
Lives: Falling for Sprawl,” New York Times Magazine, August 25, 2013. Plus NYTM blog post: Writing Career as Revenge Fantasy.
Op-Ed: Rooting for Mother Teresa,”New York Times: Opinion, July 12, 2013.
Christmas in Costume,” New York Times: T Magazine, December 2, 2012.
Modern Love: You May Call it Cheating, But We Don’t,” New York Times: Sunday Styles, September 16, 2012.
Lives: Misery Games,”New York Times Magazine, October 21, 2012.
“The Six Other Men in My Life,” Redbook, August 2012.
Lives: Looted for Love,”New York Times Magazine, June 22, 2012.
Just Married: Life After Cake,” Brides, May 2012.
Lives: Geekdom Revisited,” New York Times Magazine, July 31, 2011.
I Can Find Out So Much About You,”, January 18, 2011.
Going Off Antidepressants,”, July 7, 2010.
I’m a Closet Christian,”, December 22, 2009. I talked about this on NPR’s “Tell Me More”; listen here.
What I Wouldn’t Do For My Cat,”, February 8, 2008. I talked about this on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation”; listen here.
Gods of New York: Sandman’s Endless Control Men’s Lives. Teenage Girls Can Relate,”, February 5, 2007.
The Third-Wave Feminist Mystique,”, May 18, 2006.
Cult Worship: Too Cool for Sex,”, February 14, 2005.

National News Reporting
The Clintons and the Reality of a Long Marriage,”, July 27, 2016.
Judges Are Using Brain Science to Help Children Caught in the Courts System,” Quartz, November 17, 2015. Undertaken as a project for the Fund for Journalism on Child Well-Being and the National Health Journalism Fellowship, programs of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.
The Sisters Who Talked to Spirits,”, September 2, 2015.
The Abortion Victory No One’s Talking About,”, June 12, 2015.
How a Dinner Between 2 Virginia Tech Students Ended in Murder,”, June 2, 2015.
Bobby Shmurda Speaks Out About His Gang-Related Charges: ‘That Shit Is Bullshit,” Billboard, February 21, 2015. Also, see the exclusive Q&A from jail. February 8, 2015.
Pregnant on Opiates: When Following Doctors’ Orders Breaks the Law,” NBC News, May 8, 2014. Winner of the 2015 Croly Award.
The Rise of DIY Abortions,” The New Republic, December 31, 2012. Idaho PDF
Mommy Had to Go Away for a While,” New York Times Magazine, April 25, 2012. Alabama PDF. Winner of the 2013 Council on Contemporary Families Media Award for Print Coverage of Family Issues.
Geocaching is Fun Hidden in Plain Sight,” The Los Angeles Times, March 18, 2012.
Cash for Clunkers: Demolition Derbies Hard Up for Cars,” Time magazine, September 3, 2009. Picked up by The Daily Show, November 11, 2009. Watch here.

Book Reviews for the New York Times Book Review
Scream by Tama Janowitz.” August 19, 2016.
The Lonely City by Olivia Laing.” March 20, 2016.
The Chelsea,” Inside the Dream Palace by Sherill Tippins. December 6, 2013.
Downtown,” The Village by John Strausbaugh. June 2, 2013.
Roger and Me,” Long Shot by Mike Piazza. April 5, 2013.
Life Backstage,” Drama by Raina Telgemeier. August 26, 2012.
Cheerful Debauchery,” Dropped Names by Frank Langella. April 22, 2012.
Life Onstage with John Lithgow and Hal Holbrook.” September 30, 2011.
Good Stuff: A Daughter Remembers Cary Grant.” June 3, 2011.
Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century” by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger. July 30, 2010.
Hollywood Chronicle: Tony Curtis, Clint Eastwood, Chris Welles, Charles Higham.” December 6, 2009.
Non-Fiction Chronicle: Gideon, Reid, Knoedelseder, Rosenblum” September 17, 2009.
Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography” by Andrew Morton. February 17, 2009.
Hollywood Chronicle” December 7, 2008.
Clark Gable: Tormented Star” by David Bret. March 30, 2008.
Fiction Chronicle” December 2, 2007.
Stacked: A 32DDD Reports from the Front.” by Susan Seligson. Apr 1, 2007.
Sin in the Second City” by Karen Abbott. August 12, 2007.
The Best Seat in the House” by Allen Rucker. January 21, 2007.
The Interpretation of Murder” by Jed Rubenfeld. September 17, 2006.
Natural Selection” by Gary Giddins. August 27, 2006.
The Pale Blue Eye” by Louis Bayard. July 9, 2006.
A Plea for Eros” by Siri Hustvedt. February 19, 2006.
Honky Tonk Parade” by John Lahr. January 29, 2006.
I’m No Saint” by Elizabeth Hayt. December 25, 2005.
The Diamond” by Julie Baumgold. December 4, 2005.
Wild Girls” by Diana Souhami. November 13, 2005.
In the Fold” by Rachel Cusk. October 16, 2005.
Fiction Chronicle” August 14, 2005.

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