Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give (W.W. Norton & Company)
In July of 2015, the New York Times “Modern Love” column published Ada Calhoun’s essay “The Wedding Toast I’ll Never Give,” a strikingly honest rumination on the true challenges—and joys—of marriage. The essay was wildly popular: it stayed in the most-emailed list for a week, inspired hundreds of comments, and became one of the top 50 stories of the year for the entire newspaper.
In Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give, Calhoun builds off of that first essay to provide a funny (but not flip), smart (but not smug) take on the institution of marriage. Weaving intimate moments from her own married life with frank insight from experts, clergy, and friends, she upends expectations of total marital bliss to present a realistic—but ultimately optimistic—portrait of what marriage is really like. There will be fights, there will be existential angst, there may even be affairs; sometimes, you’ll look at the person you love and feel nothing but rage. Despite it all, Calhoun contends, staying married is easy: just don’t get divorced.
Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give offers bracing straight-talk to the newly married and honors those who have weathered the storm. This exploration of modern marriage is at once wise and entertaining, a work of unexpected candor and literary grace.
Praise for Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give
"What a witty, sexy, surprising testimony to the institution of marriage! It's the best essay collection I've read in a long time, just astoundingly honest and insightful about what marriage really means. And I say that as someone who has been married 20 years."—Karen Abbott, New York Times-bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
"This unflinchingly honest, astutely balanced probe of a most perplexing institution asks all the right questions. It sets up a conversation with the reader, who is challenged to reflect at each point, choosing between 'No, that's not me' and 'How did she know that?' Most of the time, she knows."—Phillip Lopate, Author of The Art of the Personal Essay
“This really spoke to me. It’s a beautiful love letter to what marriage is. Ada Calhoun seems like she’d be a ball to hang out with. Marriage: not so bad, guys.”—Kathryn Hahn, actress (Transparent, Crossing Jordan)
“Ada Calhoun has written the definitive meditation on marriage in all of its mystery and imperfection. It should be required reading for anyone considering it, and highly recommended for those who want to be reminded of why they did it in the first place.”—Molly Ringwald
“Brutally honest, hilarious and unsentimental -- but never unkind-- this is a book for anyone who has ever had a thought (good or bad) about the institution of marriage. I devoured this gem in one sitting. I want to marry this book.”—Susannah Cahalan, New York Times-bestselling author of Brain on Fire
“A warm, tart, corrective to the persistent conviction that a wedding is the neat end of a love story.”—Rebecca Traister, New York Times-bestselling author of All the Single Ladies
“Ada Calhoun is the friend we all need-- the one who lets us behind the curtain of her good marriage to help us better understand our own. She’s smart, funny, and best of all, willing to bare all.”—Emma Straub, New York Times-bestselling author of Modern Lovers
Calhoun’s first book, St. Marks Is Dead, was named a New York Times Editor’s Choice and a Boston Globe Best Book of 2015. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.
Photo by Jena Cumbo
Davy Rothbart is a bestselling author and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, creator of Found Magazine, a frequent contributor to public radio's This American Life, and the author of a book of personal essays, My Heart Is An Idiot, and a collection of stories, The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas. He writes regularly for GQ and Los Angeles Magazine, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Believer. His documentary film, Medora, about a resilient high-school basketball team in a dwindling Indiana town, aired recently on the acclaimed PBS series Independent Lens, won a 2015 Emmy Award, and can now be streamed online. Rothbart is also the founder of Washington To Washington, an annual hiking adventure for inner-city kids. He lives between Los Angeles, California and his hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Photo by Davy Rothbart
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