Poet, Writer & Children's Author
Judith Viorst was born and raised in New Jersey. She received a BA in history from Rutgers University, and in 1981, after six years of study, she graduated from the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute. Read More >
This talk explores how much control we do and don’t, should and shouldn’t have, over ourselves (can we really change?); over our mates (can we always get our way?); over the lives of our adult children (don’t they know they really need our advice?); and over the world around us.
An exploration of the growing-up process in terms of our personal development, our relationships with our children and aging parents, our coming to terms with the darker parts of ourselves as well as upper-eyelid droop, our rueful redefinitions of reality and happiness, and a description of that elusive (and maybe mythical) phenomenon—the grown-up marriage.
A funny and touching trip through all the stages of parenthood—the joys, messes, aggravations, heartbreaks, the breaking away, the passionate pride and the “did I do something wrong?”, the way our children transform our lives and the shocking realization that there’s no such thing as a RETIRED parent.
An exploration of the journey we all will take from kid to grown-up, from innocent to experienced, from young to not-so-young to suddenly sixty. It will cover life as a single woman trying to live a life of wild abandon with her mother calling her once a day to say “Don’t”; as a married woman with children and Gerber’s strained bananas in her hair; as a middle-aged woman with self-improvement programs and sagging kneecaps, and into grandparenthood and the many other delights and shocks of later life.
An ideal talk for children’s educators—teachers, librarians, reading specialists, etc.—this talk examines the shared experiences of children and adults: sibling rivalry, dreams of glory, “wicked thoughts”, loving feelings and the inevitable tug between separation and safety, using both her children and adult writing.
Based on her book Necessary Losses, this talk makes the argument that the inevitable losses of our life (as we go out into the world, relinquish impossible dreams, settle for less-than-perfect love, grow older) can lead to hope, growth and change. On The New York Times Bestseller list for approximately two years, Necessary Losses has been translated into a dozen languages and was the subject of a full one hour Oprah Winfrey show.
This talk argues that by acknowledging our personal mortality we can control – to a significant extent – the manner of our dying. Among the subjects examined are assisted suicide, hospice care, and the need for signing a medical directive and a durable power of attorney. But in addition to these practical matters, Mrs. Viorst suggests that by living our life with a knowledge of its finitude and by imagining now what kind of person we want to be at the end of our life, we will make wiser choices and have fewer regrets.
A funny and touching exploration of the issues that those who are at, or around, this age will be dealing with, and sometimes laughing about: The decline of the body. The joys of grandparenthood. Old friends. Our husband’s retirement. Insomnia. And the fact that we would willingly give up a night of wild abandon with Denzel Washington for a nice report on our next bone density test.
Based on her latest book this is a wise and humorous look at marriage from “I do” to “till death do us part,” reminding her audience where they’ve been and showing them where they’re going and addressing where their marriage is right now. It deals with the shocks of married life; the arrival of kids; marital rivalry and marital manners; married sex (not always with the person to whom we’re married); fighting and apologies and divorce and remarriage and growing older together; and the boredom and the bliss, the highs and the lows, of ordinary everyday married life.