Tuesdays with Morrie

Last updated on 16 November 2017

Tuesdays with Morrie is a memoir[1] by American writer Mitch Albom.[2] The story was later recreated by Thomas Rickman into a TV movie of the same name directed by Mick Jackson, which aired on December 5, 1999 and starred Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria.[2]

The book topped the New York Times Non-Fiction Bestsellers of 2000. However, according to Amazon,[3] this title is listed under fiction, biographical fiction, philosophical fiction, and memoir. An unabridged audiobook was also published, narrated by Albom himself. The appendix of the audiobook contains several minutes of excerpts from the audio recordings Albom made in his conversations with Morrie Schwartz in preparation for writing the book.

In 2007, the 10th anniversary of the book's publishing, a new edition with an afterword by Mitch Albom was released.

Tuesdays with Morrie
Tuesdays with Morrie book cover.jpg
Author Mitch Albom
Country United States
Language English
Genre Biographical, Philosophical novel, Memoir
Publisher Doubleday
Publication date
1997
Media type Print Hardcover, Paperback
Pages 192
ISBN 0-385-48451-8
OCLC 36130729
378.1/2/092 B 21
LC Class LD571.B418 S383 1997

Synopsis

Newspaper sports columnist Mitch Albom recounts the time spent with his 78-year-old sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz, at Brandeis University, who was dying from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Albom, a former student of Schwartz, had not corresponded with him since attending his college classes 16 years earlier. The first three chapters incorporate an ambiguous introduction to the final conversation between Albom and Schwartz, a brief flashback to Albom's graduation, and an account of the events Albom experienced between graduation and the reunion with his professor. The name Morrie comes from its meaning in Hebrew (mori מורי), which means "my teacher."

Albom is a successful sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press despite his childhood dream of being a pianist. After seeing Schwartz on Nightline, Albom called Schwartz, who remembered his former pupil despite the lapse of 16 years. Albom was prompted to travel from Michigan to Massachusetts to visit Schwartz. A newspaper strike frees Albom to commute weekly, on Tuesdays, to visit with Schwartz. The resulting book is based on these fourteen Tuesdays they meet, supplemented with Schwartz's lectures and life experiences and interspersed with flashbacks and allusions to contemporary events.

Important Figures

Mitch Albom, is the author of Tuesdays With Morrie and serves as one of the main characters for the novel. Within the novel, Albom is a writer for a sports column in the Detroit Free Press and posses a Masters in Journalism. The book's main story revolves around his rediscovery of his old college professor, Morrie Schwartz, through an episode of Nightline. After reconnecting with his old teacher, he finds himself Morrie's pupil once again as the latter passes teachings of life, death, to Mitch.[4]

Morrie Schwartz was a professor of sociology at Brandeis University and a previous teacher of Albom during the latter's college years. He is the main character within the story. After falling out of contact, Morrie is diagnosed with ALS and finds himself in deteriorating health. He later makes an appearance on Nightline, gaining national attention and reconnecting with Albom. Morrie once again serves as Albom's teacher, this time, imparting wisdom about the happenings of life and death. Morrie eventually passes away from the terminal disease, but the impact of his final lesson is still relevant today through Albom's writings.[5]

Themes

Tuesday's With Morrie examines the interactions and phenomena between the human experience of living and dying. A theme of personal transcendence appears for both characters: Morrie and Albom. This transformation is experienced by both characters through Morrie's deteriorating health. Morrie shows us the value of retaining dignity in the face of death; that love is the most valuable thing we can offer to each other. [6] For readers, this allows a casual avenue for learning about the dying process; learning "that not all stories end happily with a person going into remission and thus avoiding death. Rather, dying and death are natural processes and need to be acknowledged for what they are—natural events."[7] The role that culture plays in the development of happiness within our lives is also examined within the novel. Morrie remarks that we often see ourselves as dissimilar to each other, rather than similar. He goes on to promote the value of investing in people rather than material objects.[8]

Adaptations

A 1999 TV movie of the same name was released. It was directed by Mick Jackson, written by Thomas Rickman, and executive produced by Oprah Winfrey. The movie premiered on December 5, 1999 on the ABC Network and starred Jack Lemmon as Morrie and Hank Azaria as Mitch.[2] This was one of Lemmon's final performances before his death in 2001.

On November 19, 2002, the book was adapted as a stage play that opened Off Broadway at the Minetta Lane Theatre. Co-authored by Mitch Albom and Jeffrey Hatcher (Three Viewings) and directed by David Esbjornson (The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?). Tuesdays with Morrie starred Alvin Epstein as Morrie and Jon Tenney as Mitch; it met with positive reviews.[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ de Botton, Alain (November 23, 1997). "Continuing Ed". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b c "Tuesdays with Morrie". The New York Times.
  3. ^ "Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson". Amazon.com.
  4. ^ Teeling, D. (n.d.). Character List & Analysis. Retrieved November 02, 2017, from http://morrieschwartz.weebly.com/character-list--analysis.html
  5. ^ Teeling, D. (n.d.). Character List & Analysis. Retrieved November 02, 2017, from http://morrieschwartz.weebly.com/character-list--analysis.html
  6. ^ "Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson". Amazon.com.
  7. ^ Masters, J. L. (2003). THURSDAYS WITH MORRIE: THE USE OF CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE IN A DEATH AND DYING COURSE. Omega: Journal Of Death & Dying, 47(3), 245-252.
  8. ^ "CNN - Books: Reviews -"Tuesdays with Morrie" - May 6, 1998". www.cnn.com. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  9. ^ http://curtainupcom.siteprotect.net/tuesdayswithmorrie.html

External links

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