Why we can't sleep cover image s

Monday, March 9, 2020

Ada Calhoun 
in conversation with Annabelle Gurwitch

discussing her book,
Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis

Dynasty Typewriter at The Hayworth (Parking info)
2511 Wilshire Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90057

$40 General Admission seating + Book

$50 Reserved Section seating + Book
$20 General Admission (on sale Feb 10, 10am)

A generation-defining exploration of the new midlife crisis facing Gen X women and the unique circumstances that have brought them to this point, Why We Can’t Sleep is a lively successor to Passages by Gail Sheehy and The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

Ada Calhoun is the author of the memoir Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give, named an Amazon Book of the Month and one of the top ten memoirs of 2017 by W magazine; and the history St. Marks Is Dead, one of the best books of 2015, according to Kirkus and the Boston Globe. She has collaborated on several New York Times bestsellers, and written for the New York Times, New York, and The New Republic.  Her new book Why We Can’t Sleep is an Indie Next selection for January, one of Vogue’s Best Books to Read this Winter and one of 10 Most Anticipated Books of 2020 by Forbes

“Ada Calhoun’s soulful investigation into the complex landscape women in midlife face today is downright stunning. Calhoun has captured the voices―some broken, some resilient, many barely staying afloat―of over 200 women from around the country and in doing so, shown us how much we share in divisive times. You will recognize yourself in these pages, breathe a sigh of relief, and think, I’m not alone.”―Susannah Cahalan, author of the New York Times bestselling Brain on Fire

When Ada Calhoun found herself in the throes of a midlife crisis, she thought that she had no right to complain. She was married with children and a good career. So why did she feel miserable? And why did it seem that other Generation X women were miserable, too?

Calhoun decided to find some answers. She looked into housing costs, HR trends, credit card debt averages, and divorce data. At every turn, she saw a pattern: sandwiched between the Boomers and the Millennials, Gen X women were facing new problems as they entered middle age, problems that were being largely overlooked.

Speaking with women across America about their experiences as the generation raised to “have it all,” Calhoun found that most were exhausted, terrified about money, under-employed, and overwhelmed. Instead of being heard, they were told instead to lean in, take “me-time,” or make a chore chart to get their lives and homes in order.

In Why We Can’t Sleep, Calhoun opens up the cultural and political contexts of Gen X’s predicament and offers solutions for how to pull oneself out of the abyss―and keep the next generation of women from falling in. The result is reassuring, empowering, and essential reading for all middle-aged women, and anyone who hopes to understand them.

Annabelle Gurwitch is an actress, activist, and the New York Times bestselling author of I See You Made an Effort. Her writing has appeared in the New Yorker, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications She was the co-host of the popular series, Dinner & a Movie, and a regular NPR commentator for numerous years.   She regularly appears with The Moth Mainstage and at performing arts centers around the country, tour dates can be found on her website.

Her favorite way of avoiding writing is to interview authors she admires. Amongst them:  Chelsea Handler, Robert Reich, Gretchen Rubin, PJ O’Rourke, Allan Cummings, Sandra Tsing Loh, Cindy Chupack, and Faith Salie. A finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor Writing, her next book,  You’re Leaving When?, a collection of essays, comedic and otherwise,  about mid-life in the downwardly mobile middle class, drops from Counterpoint, in March, 2021.