"Superstition is foolish, childish, primitive and irrational - but how much does it cost you to knock on wood?" -- Judith Viorst
Judith Viorst (born February 2, 1931) is an American author, newspaper journalist, and psychoanalysis researcher. She is perhaps best known 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 books.
In the latter part of the 1970s, after two decades of writing for children and adults, Viorst turned to the study of Freudian psychology. In 1981, and after six years of study at Washington Psychoanalytic Institute, she became a research graduate there.
"Because we believe ourselves to be better parents than our parents, we expect to produce better children than they produced.""Close friends contribute to our personal growth. They also contribute to our personal pleasure, making the music sound sweeter, the wine taste richer, the laughter ring louder because they are there.""I could be such a wonderful wife to another wife's husband.""Love is much nicer to be in than an automobile accident, a tight girdle, a higher tax bracket or a holding pattern over Philadelphia.""Love is the same as like except you feel sexier.""Lust is what keeps you wanting to do it even when you have no desire to be with each other. Love is what makes you want to be with each other even when you have no desire to do it.""One advantage of marriage is that, when you fall out of love with him or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you fall in again.""Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces.""We will have to give up the hope that, if we try hard, we somehow will always do right by our children. The connection is imperfect. We will sometimes do wrong.""When he is late for dinner and I know he must be either having an affair or lying dead in the street, I always hope he's dead.""You end up as you deserve. In old age you must put up with the face, the friends, the health, and the children you have earned."
Viorst lives in Washington, DC, 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.
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 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
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 Theater of Cincinnati hosted a performance of Love & Shrimp, starring Deb Girdler, Pamela Myers and Shelley Bamberger, in the spring of 1999.
I'll Fix Anthony, illustrated by Arnold Lobel (1969) New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 0060263067
Try It Again, Sam: Safety When You Walk, illustrated by Paul Galdone (1970)
My Mama Says there Aren't any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins, or Things, illustrated by Kay Chorao (1973)
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, illustrated by Erik Blegvad (1987)
The Good-bye Book, illustrated by Kay Chorao (1988)
Super-Completely and Totally the Messiest, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser (2001)
Poems for Children and Their Parents series
If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Worries: Poems for Children and their Parents, illustrated by Lynne Cherry (1984)
Sad Underwear and Other Complications: More Poems for Children and Their Parents, illustrated by Richard Hull (1995)
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day illustrated by Ray Cruz (1972). New York: Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-70428-3
Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday illustrated by Ray Cruz (1977). New York: Atheneum. ISBN 978-0-689-30602-0
Alexander, Who Is Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser "in the style of Ray Cruz" (1995) New York: Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-31958-4
Alexander related titles
Absolutely, Positively Alexander: The Complete Stories, collects the three books in the series in one volume
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, (an adult memoir of Judith Viorst and her real son, Alexander) (2007)
Adult literature, memoirs, advice books, and poetry
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)
The age-related poetry series
It's Hard to Be Hip Over 30 & Other Tragedies of Married Life (1968) (Reprinted in 1999 by Persephone Books)
How Did I Get to Be 40 & Other Atrocities illustrated by John Alcorn (1976)
When Did I Stop Being 20 & Other Injustices: Selected Poems from Single to Mid-Life, illustrated by John Alcorn (1987)
Forever 50 & Other Negotiations, illustrated by John Alcorn (1989)
Suddenly 60 & Other Shocks of Later Life, illustrated by Laurie Rosewald (2000)
I'm Too Young to Be 70 & Other Delusions, illustrated by Laura Gibson (2005)