Judith Viorst

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Judith Viorst
Judith viorst 3269.JPG
Born (1931-02-02) February 2, 1931 (age 83)
Nationality American
Alma mater Rutgers University
Notable works Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney
Notable awards 2011 Foremother Award
Spouse Milton Viorst

Judith Viorst (born February 2, 1931) is an American author, newspaper journalist, and psychoanalysis researcher.[1] She is perhaps best known[citation needed] for her children's literature, such as The Tenth Good Thing About Barney (about the death of a pet) and the Alexander series of short picture books, which includes Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (1972), which has sold over two million copies.[2]

Viorst is a 1952 graduate of the Newark College of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. In 1968, Viorst signed the "Writers and Editors War Tax Protest" pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War.[3] In the latter part of the 1970s, after two decades of writing for children and adults, she turned to the study of Freudian psychology. In 1981, she became a research graduate at Washington Psychoanalytic Institute after six years of study.

Personal life[edit]

Viorst lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, political writer Milton Viorst. They have three grown sons: Anthony Jacob Viorst, an attorney practicing in the Denver, Colorado, area; Nicholas Nathan "Nick" Viorst, an Assistant District Attorney for New York County, and Alexander Noah Viorst, who finances affordable apartment properties around the country.[4]

She received the 2011 Foremother Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Research Center for Women & Families.[citation needed]

Writing[edit]

Writing for children[edit]

Among Viorst's books for children is the "Alexander" series (including Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day), whose narrator is a 5-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two brothers, Anthony and Nick, who are named for Viorst's own three sons.

Viorst's book 'Sad Underwear' is a collection of poems that examines a wide variety of feelings and experiences from a child's point of view.

Writing for adults[edit]

Viorst's books for adults include nonfiction psychology books such as "Grown-up Marriage", Imperfect Control, Necessary Losses, and People and other Aggravations. Viorst is also a newspaper columnist and has written frequently for The New York Times and The Washington Post, and has been a contributing editor to Redbook magazine.

She also penned the musical Love & Shrimp with Shelly Markam. The Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati hosted a performance of Love & Shrimp, starring Deb Girdler, Pamela Myers and Shelley Bamberger, in the spring of 1999.

Selected works[edit]

  • The Wonderful World of Science, edited by Shirley Moore and Viorst (Bantam Books, 1961) — science experiments and recreations[5]
  • Projects: Space (Washington Square Books, 1962) [1]
  • 150 Science Experiments Step-by-step, illus. Dennis Telesford (Bantam, 1963) [2]
  • The Natural World: A guide to North American wildlife (Bantam, 1965) [3]
  • The Village Square, illus. Tom Ballenger (Coward-McCann, 1966) [4]
  • The Changing Earth, illus. Feodor Rimsky (Bantam, 1967) [5]
  • Sunday Morning: a story, illus. Hilary Knight (Harper & Row, 1968)

For children[edit]

  • I'll Fix Anthony, illus. Arnold Lobel (1969), Harper & Row, ISBN 0-06-026306-7
  • Try It Again, Sam: Safety When You Walk, illus. Paul Galdone (1970)
  • My Mama Says there Aren't any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins, or Things, illus. Kay Chorao (1973)
  • The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, illus. Erik Blegvad (1987)
  • The Good-bye Book, illus. Kay Chorao (1988)
  • Super-Completely and Totally the Messiest, illus. Robin Preiss Glasser (2001)
  • Just in Case, illus. Diana Cain Bluthenthal (2006)
  • And Two Boys Booed, illus. Sophie Blackall (2014)

Poems for Children and Their Parents[edit]

  • If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Worries: Poems for Children and their Parents, illus. Lynne Cherry (1981)
  • Sad Underwear and Other Complications: More Poems for Children and Their Parents, illus. Richard Hull (1995)

Alexander[edit]

Omnibus edition: Absolutely, Positively Alexander: The Complete Stories

Related titles
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: A Musical
  • Alexander and the Wonderful, Marvelous, Excellent, Terrific Ninety Days: An Almost Completely Honest Account of What Happened to Our Family When Our Youngest came to Live with Us for Three Months (2007) — an adult memoir of Judith Viorst and her real son, Alexander

Lulu[edit]

For adults[edit]

  • People and Other Aggravations (1971)
  • Yes, Married: A Saga of Love and Complaint (1972)
  • A Visit from St. Nicholas to a Liberated Household illustrated by Norman Green (1977)
  • Love and Guilt and the Meaning of Life, Etc. illustrated by John Alcorn (1979)
  • Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Grow (1987)
  • Murdering Mr. Monti: A Merry Little Tale of Sex and Violence (1994)
  • Imperfect Control: Our Lifelong Struggles With Power and Surrender (1998)
  • You're Officially a Grown-up: The Graduate's Guide to Freedom, Responsibility, Happiness, and Personal Hygiene (1999)
  • Grown-Up Marriage: What We Know, Wish We Had Known, and Still Need to Know About Being Married (2003)

Age-related poetry series[edit]

  • It's Hard to Be Hip Over 30 & Other Tragedies of Married Life (1968), New York: World Publ. Co.; reprinted by Persephone Books, 1999
  • How Did I Get to Be 40 & Other Atrocities illus. John Alcorn (1976)
  • When Did I Stop Being 20 & Other Injustices: Selected Poems from Single to Mid-Life, illus. John Alcorn (1987)
  • Forever 50 & Other Negotiations, illus. John Alcorn (1989)
  • Suddenly 60 & Other Shocks of Later Life, illus. Laurie Rosewald (2000)
  • I'm Too Young to Be 70 & Other Delusions, illustrated by Laura Gibson (2005)
  • Unexpectedly Eighty & Other Adaptations, illus. Laura Gibson (2010)

Dramatic Adaptations[edit]

  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, a stage adaptation of the book, was performed at the B Street Theatre in 2004.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Judith Viorst". WorldCat.org. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ "The Author, Judith Viorst". The Kennedy Center. 
  3. ^ “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” January 30, 1968 New York Post
  4. ^ "Judith Viorst". Poets.org: The Academy of American Poets. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Wonderful world of science". Library of Congress Catalog Record (LCC). Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  6. ^ B Street Theatre

External links[edit]