Also a Poet: Frank O'Hara, My Father, and Me


Product Details

$27.00  $25.11
Grove Press
Publish Date
5.98 X 9.06 X 1.34 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Ada Calhoun is the New York Times bestselling author of St. Marks Is Dead, Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give, and Why We Can't Sleep. She has written for the New York Times, the New Republic, and the Washington Post.


Praise for Also a Poet

"Mesmerizing... As [Calhoun] attempts to course-correct Schjeldahl's shortcomings--which she details at length (in the book and to his face)--she crafts a masterpiece entirely her own, tapping into the 'perpetual wonder' that imbued O'Hara with an 'enlightened, saintlike quality' to radiantly explore her knotty relationship with her father, 'the saddest part of my childhood and the greatest gift of my life.' It's a dazzling thing to behold." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)"Fascinating...A wonderfully convoluted, catty, candid, and clever piece of work."--Kirkus (starred review)"In this fluidly morphing, magnetically candid chronicle... Calhoun offers an arresting and provocative carousel of family dynamics, creative paradoxes, literary history, unnerving dilemmas, thorny questions of inheritance and legacy, wry humor, and love." - Booklist (starred review)"Deeply moving and exceptionally well written, this offbeat memoir will please anyone interested in the NYC art scene from the 1950s on. Every father should have a daughter as loving, perceptive and honest as Calhoun." -- Library Journal (starred review)
"Deceptively tender and cleverly conceived...With Also a Poet, Calhoun seems to have created a new nonfiction genre: the biographical profile within a biographical profile within a memoir." -- Shelf Awareness

"Also a Poet covers turf that is delicate, fought-over, and sacred. What poet is not one complicated creature? Whose father is not a confounding mystery to a daughter? What era of New York was not a fevered, fervent time? Let Ada Calhoun be our guide through all, but hold her hand tight--the journey is wild!"--Tom Hanks, New York Times-bestselling author of Uncommon Type

"Also A Poet contains multitudes...a celebration of one of America's greatest poets, an ode to New York of today and yesterday, an investigation into legacy and memory, a meditation on art and writing, a humane yet fiercely candid look at the anxiety of influence, a memoir about Calhoun's fraught but fruitful relationship with her father, who put his art above all else. This extraordinary book, full of wisdom, beauty, and generosity of spirit, proves that we can be 'good' and also great."-- Susannah Cahalan, New York Times-bestselling author of The Great Pretender

"This book is a gift to fans of Frank O'Hara, fans of downtown New York, and fans of queer history. It's also a gift from one writer to another. The fact that that writer is a daughter paying tribute to her complicated father makes the work all the more resonant and beautiful." -- Alysia Abbott, author of Fairyland

"In Ada Calhoun's hands, this one-of-a-kind story of a mercurial father, a conflicted daughter, and the artistic idol they both share is marvelously universal -- by turns touching and laugh-out-loud funny and endearing and wise. If you are interested in parents or children or New York City or poetry and art -- or have ever wondered about the legacies we leave, the lives we touch, without even knowing it -- then Also A Poet offers observations and insights that you'll carry with you for a long time to come."--Robert Kolker, New York Times-bestselling author of Hidden Valley Road

Praise for Why We Can't Sleep

One of Vogue's Best Books to Read this Winter

One of 10 Most Anticipated Books of 2020 by Forbes

Named One of Lit Hub's Most Anticipated Books of 2020

"[C]andid and engaging. [Calhoun] is a funny, smart, compassionate narrator.... I admired her insistence on taking women's concerns seriously." ―New York Times Book Review

"[A]n engaging hybrid of first-person confession, reportage, pop culture analysis, and aspires to something larger than memoir." ―The New Republic

"Calhoun speaks directly to her own generation, peppering the book with so many specific cultural touchstones... that I found reading Why We Can't Sleep to be a singular experience - driving home her point that Gen X is so often overlooked. ―Minneapolis Star Tribune

"A superb mix of personal stories and deep research about a generation of women who are facing unprecedented pressure as they enter middle age. It's at once realistic, but positive, asking women to face up to reality, let go of expectations, find a support system and accept this stage isn't forever." ―Huffington Post

"Marriage implosions, rising debt, and a constant sense of failure pop up throughout this brief but potent and sometimes funny book... Why We Can't Sleep might do much to let readers like the women Calhoun writes about that they are not alone."―Literary Hub

"[A] Bracing, empowering study... Women of every generation will find much to relate to in this humorous yet pragmatic account." ―Publishers Weekly

"Calhoun's latest will be useful for those interested in feminist theory, especially insofar as it intersects with age and class, as well as a useful resource for people struggling to find balance in their personal and professional lives." ―Library Journal (Starred Review)

"This is a conversation starter (as well as a no-brainer for book groups that count Gen X women among their members) that might get Boomer and Millennial readers curious, too." ―Booklist

"Ada Calhoun provides a thoughtful, incisive account of the myriad challenges facing Generation X women." ―Shelf Awareness