Judith Viorst was born and raised in New Jersey. She received a B.A. in history from Rutgers University, and in 1981, after six years of study, she graduated from the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute.
Mrs. Viorst is the author of nine collections of poems for adults: The Village Square; It’s Hard to Be Hip Over Thirty and Other Tragedies of Married Life; People and Other Aggravations; How Did I Get to Be 40 and Other Atrocities; When Did I Stop Being 20 and Other Injustices; Forever Fifty and Other Negotiations; Suddenly Sixty and Other Shocks of Later Life; I’m Too Young to Be Seventy and Other Delusions, and Unexpectedly Eighty and Other Adaptations. She has also written You’re Officially a Grown-Up: The Graduate’s Guide to Freedom, Responsibility, Happiness and Personal Hygiene; a novel, Murdering Mr. Monti, and five non-fiction books: Yes, Married; Love & Guilt & The Meaning of Life, Etc.; Necessary Losses, which was on The New York Times bestseller list for almost two years; its companion volume, Imperfect Control; Grown-Up Marriage; and Alexander and the Wonderful, Marvelous, Excellent, Terrific Ninety Day: An Almost Completely Honest Account of What Happened to Our Family When Our Youngest Son, His Wife, Their Baby, Their Toddler, and Their Five-Year-Old Came to Live with Us for Three Months. In addition she wrote a column in Redbook for over twenty-five years.
Mrs. Viorst is the author of twenty one books for children: Sunday Morning; I’ll Fix Anthony; Try It Again, Sam; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (which has sold over four million copies and been inducted into the Picture Book Hall of Fame), The Tenth Good Thing About Barney; My Mama Says There Aren’t Any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins, or Things; Rosie and Michael; Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday; If I Were In Charge of The World and Other Worries; The Good-bye Book; Earrings!; The Alphabet From Z to A; Sad Underwear and Other Complications; Alexander, Who’s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move; Absolutely, Positively Alexander, a collection of the three Alexander stories; Super-Completely and Totally the Messiest; Just in Case; Nobody Here But Me, Lulu and the Brontosaurus, Lulu Walks the Dogs and Lulu’s Mysterious Mission. Two other children’s books, Alexander, Who’s Trying His Best to Be the Best Boy Ever and And Two Boys Booed are scheduled for publication in late 2014.
Many of her books, for adults as well as for children, have been published abroad. Several of her children’s books have been made into short films. A movie based on Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day will be released by Disney in the fall of 2014 starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner.
Mrs. Viorst lectures widely on a variety of topics, ranging from loss and growth to children’s literature and the subject of control. Her poetry has been read in performance by Anne Bancroft, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine, Ann Jackson and Eli Wallach. In addition, she has written, with composer Shelley Markham, the book and lyrics for four musicals- Love and Shrimp, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day, Alexander, Who’s Not Not Not Not Not Not Going To Move, and Lulu and the Brontosaurus.
Mrs. Viorst resides in Washington, DC , with her husband, Milton, who is the author of several critically acclaimed political books. They have three sons, Anthony, Nicholas and Alexander, and seven grandchildren.