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Sixth & I

Mandy Len Catron and Ada Calhoun

In Conversation with Daniel Jones

Jun 29, 2017 • 7:00 pm ET
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What really makes love last? Authors and contributors to the New York TimesModern Love” column Mandy Len Catron and Ada Calhoun offer their takes in a lovely conversation with Daniel Jones, the Editor of the “Modern Love” column.

Does love ever work the way it does in movies, books, and Facebook posts? Does obsessing over those love stories hurt our real-life relationships? When Catron’s parents divorced after a twenty-eight year marriage and her own ten-year relationship ended, those were the questions she wanted to answer.

In How to Fall in Love with Anyone, Catron—author of the “Modern Love” essay, “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This,” (one of the top five most popular New York Times pieces of 2015)— explores the romantic myths we create and explains how they limit our ability to achieve and sustain intimacy.

In candid and vulnerable essays, Catron deconstructs her own personal canon of love stories, drawing insights from her research into the universal psychology, biology, history, and literature of love. She urges us to question the unwritten scripts we follow in relationships and look into where those scripts come from in the first place.

Catron writes The Love Story Project and teaches English and creative writing at the University of British Columbia.

Ada Calhoun doesn’t give wedding toasts. Instead, she likes to hear other people’s efforts. Her silence doesn’t mean she has nothing on her mind. On the contrary, Calhoun is full of wisdom and experience, which she shares in Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give, inspired by her “Modern Love” essay.

Weaving intimate moments from her own married life with frank insight from experts, clergy, and friends, Calhoun opens a 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.

Calhoun explores modern coupledom for a nuanced discussion of infidelity, existential anxiety, and the obstacles to staying together. Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give offers a refreshing way to think about marriage as a brave, creative decision to stay with another person for the rest of your life. “What a burden,” Calhoun calls marriage, “and what a gift.”

Calhoun’s book, St. Marks Is Dead, was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a Boston Globe Best Book of 2015. Book signing to follow.