Author(s): Ada Calhoun
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 the women around her 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 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 this 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.
Ada Calhoun has written for the New York Times, New York Magazine and the New York Post. She is the author of Wedding Toasts I'll Never Giveand St. Marks Is Dead, which was named a New York Times Editors' Choice and a Boston Globe Best Book of the Year.
'This is the book of our generation. Ada Calhoun brilliantly encapsulates the struggle and confusion that is the Gen X woman's experience in middle age. And by placing this condition into the context of the generations coming before and after, she makes sense of how it is that we're so surprised that we have failed at having it all. Heavily researched, expertly paced and seamlessly woven together, Why We Can't Sleepprovides an 'aha' moment that at once validates our experience and establishes a sense of community and hope.' Janet Krone Kennedy, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, author of The Good Sleeper and founder of NYC Sleep Doctor
'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 recognise 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