Judith Viorst is known and loved by readers of all ages, for children's books such as Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; nonfiction titles, including the bestseller Necessary Losses; and her collections of humorous poetry, which make perfect gifts for birthdays, Mother's Day, graduation, Christmas, Chanukah, or at any time of year.
How Did I Get To Be 40:And so you’ve reached that time in life when you’re starting to “pick investments over adventure, / And clean over scenic, and comfortable over intense”; when, even though in your heart of hearts you’re much younger, the rest of you is (how did it happen?) forty. Judith Viorst, the wise and witty lady of It’s Hard to Be Hip Over 30 and Other Tragedies of Married Life, is here to guide you through these forty-ish years with poems that reflect the highs, the lows, and the everything-in-betweens of midlife. Viorst playfully considers the prospects of sagging kneecaps, awkward college reunions, and fantasies of love in the afternoon; being baffled by one’s Buddhist bisexual vegetarian Maoist offspring; cholesterol counts, adult-education courses and other atrocities of midlife—which somehow aren’t as painful when you can laugh at them. Filled with warmth, humor, and insight, How Did I Get to Be 40 & Other Atrocities is Judith Viorst at her best.
Forever 50: Now Judith Viorst looks at what it's like to be (gulp) fifty.
Writing with the warmth and authenticity that have become her trademarks, Viorst once again demonstrates her uncanny ability to transform our daily realities into poems that make us laugh with recognition. Whether her subject is the decline of the body ("It's hard to be devil-may-care/When there are pleats in your derrière") or future aspirations ("Before I go, I'd like to have high cheekbones./I'd like to talk less like New Jersey, and more like Claire Bloom"), she always speaks directly to our condition. Her funny, compassionate poems shed a reassuring light on the fine art of aging, and will delight anyone who is now (or forever) fifty.
Suddenly 60:Suddenly Sixty is a funny and touching book that speaks directly to the sixty-ish woman, inviting her to laugh about, sigh over, and come to hopeful terms with the complex issues of this decade of life.
Among the poems in this charmingly illustrated collection are those exploring the joys—and strains—of children and grandchildren, and the intimacy of old friends who’ve ‘known each other so long/We knew each other back when we were virgins.” There are poems that tip their hat to mortality, wrestle with a husband’s retirement —“He’s coming with me when I shop at the supermarket/So I won't have to shop alone. I like alone.”— and acknowledge the fact that at this stage of life we’d “give up a night of wild rapture with Denzel Washington for a nice report on my next bone density test.” Offering plenty of laughs, a few tears, and cover-to-cover truths, these are poems for everyone who would “rather say never say die than enough is enough.” Every woman who has reached this decade will—rueful and smiling—find herself in the pages of this book.
70:The beloved author of Forever Fifty and Suddenly Sixty tackles the ins and outs of becoming a septuagenarian with wry good humor. Fans of Viorst’s funny, touching, and wise decades poems will love these verses filled with witty advice and reflections on marriage, milestones, and middle-aged children.
Viorst explores, among the many other issues of this stage of life, the state of our sex lives and teeth, how we can stay married though thermostatically incompatible, and the joys of grandparenthood and shopping. Readers will nod with rueful recognition when she asks, “Am I required to think of myself as a basically shallow woman because I feel better when my hair looks good?,” when she presses a few helpful suggestions on her kids because “they may be middle aged, but they’re still my children,” and when she graciously—but not too graciously—selects her husband’s next mate in a poem deliciously subtitled “If I Should Die Before I Wake, Here’s the Wife You Next Should Take.” Though Viorst acknowledges she is definitely not a good sport about the fact that she is mortal, her poems are full of the pleasures of life right now, helping us come to terms with the passage of time, encouraging us to keep trying to fix the world, and inviting us to consider “drinking wine, making love, laughing hard, caring hard, and learning a new trick or two as part of our job description at seventy.”
I'm Too Young to Be Seventy is a joy to read and makes a heartwarming gift for anyone who has reached or is soon to reach that—it’s not so bad after all—seventh decade.
80: What does it mean to be eighty? In her wise and playful poems, Judith Viorst discusses love, friendship, grand parenthood, and all the particular marvels—and otherwise—of this extraordinary decade. She describes the wonder of seeing the world with new eyes—not because of revelation but because of a successful cataract operation. She promises not to gently fade away, and not to drive after daylight’s faded away either. She explains how she’s gotten to be a “three-desserts” grandmother (“Just don’t tell your mom!”), shares how memory failure can keep you married, and enumerates her hopes for the afterlife (which she doesn’t believe in, but if it does exist, her sister-in-law better not be there with her).
As Viorst gleefully attests, eighty is not too old to dream, to flirt, to drink, and to dance. It’s also not too late to give up being cheap or to take up with a younger man of seventy-eight. Zesty, hopeful, and full of the pleasures of living, Viorst’s poems speak to her legions of readers, who recognize themselves in her knowing observations, in her touching reflections, and in her joyful affirmations. Funny, moving, inspirational, and true—the newest in Judith Viorst’s beloved “decades” series extols the virtues, victories, frustrations, and joys of life.