Seven essays celebrating the beauty of the imperfect marriage.
We hear plenty about whether or not to get married, but much less about what it takes to stay married. Clichés around marriage—eternal bliss, domestic harmony, soul mates—leave out the real stuff. After marriage you may still want to sleep with other people. Sometimes your partner will bore the hell out of you. And when stuck paying for your spouse’s mistakes, you might miss being single.
In Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give, Ada Calhoun presents an unflinching but also loving portrait of her own marriage, opening a long-overdue conversation about the institution as it truly is: not the happy ending of a love story or a relic doomed by high divorce rates, but the beginning of a challenging new chapter of which “the first twenty years are the hardest.”
Calhoun’s funny, poignant personal essays explore the bedrooms of modern coupledom for a nuanced discussion of infidelity, existential anxiety, and the many other obstacles to staying together. Both realistic and openhearted, Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give offers a refreshing new way to think about marriage as a brave, tough, creative decision to stay with another person for the rest of your life. “What a burden,” Calhoun calls marriage, “and what a gift.”
About the Author
Ada Calhoun has written for the New York Times, New York magazine, and the New York Post. Her book St. Marks Is Dead was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a Boston Globe Best Book of the Year.
Last book that made you laugh? Ada Calhoun’s Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give. I mean, underlining and yellow marker bust-out laughs.
— Tom Hanks - New York Times Book Review
A fine gift to tuck between negligees and garter belts at the more literary bride’s shower. A breezy, warm-hearted meditation on the nature of matrimony.… [Calhoun’s] wry, likable voice is at its Ephronesque best. — Lisa Zeidner - Washington Post
Raise a glass to these reality-check essays that are equal parts ode to marriage… and sly acknowledgment of its challenges. — O, The Oprah Magazine
By turns funny, melancholy, and profound. A thoughtful read of the monogamous, non-monogamous, and every relationship iteration in between. — New York
[Calhoun’s] witty, enthusiastic, emotional, and hard-headed reflections ought to be required reading for anyone entering, experiencing, leaving or avoiding marriage. — Jonathan Sale - Guardian
Light and funny… original, engrossing. — Heather Havrilesky - New York Times Book Review
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
By turns hilariously candid, thought-provoking, and romantic, Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give gave me a richer view of the joys and challenges of marriage—especially my own marriage.
— Gretchen Rubin, New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness Project
A warm, tart, corrective to the persistent conviction that a wedding is the neat end of a love story. — Rebecca Traister, New York Times best-selling 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 best-selling author of Modern Lovers