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Imperfect Control

Our Lifelong Struggles With Power and Surrender

In her remarkable national bestseller, Necessary Losses, Judith Viorst explored how we are shaped by the various losses we experience throughout our lives. Now, in her wise and perceptive new book, Imperfect Control, she shows us how our sense of self and all our important relationships are colored by our struggles over control: over wanting it and taking it, loving it and fearing it, and figuring out when the time has come to surrender it.
Writing with compassion, acute psychological insight, and a touch of her trademark humor, Viorst invites us to contemplate the limits and possibilities of our control. She shows us how our lives can be shaped by our actions and our choices. She reminds us, too, that we sometimes should choose to let go. And she encourages us to find our own best balance between power and surrender.

Photograph by Debbie Wager

Judith Viorst is the author of the beloved Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, which has sold some four million copies; the Lulu books, including Lulu and the Brontosaurus; the New York Times bestseller Necessary Losses; four musicals; and poetry for children and young adults. Her most recent books of poetry include What Are You Glad About? What Are You Mad About? and Nearing Ninety.

Judith S. Wallerstein author of The Good Marriage Imperfect Control is a brilliant book and an immense pleasure to read.

Connie Lauerman Chicago Tribune Imperfect Control continues the kind of work that won Viorst a special commendation from the American Psychiatric Association...smart, lighthearted, and down-to-earth....

The Boston Herald [U]nlike pop gurus who seek to lead us down a path toward some truth we may never even envision, much less attain, Viorst is content with walking alongside us, pointing out the lurking ruts and pitfalls....She makes a great buddy.

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