Tuesdays with Morrie
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|Tuesdays with Morrie|
|Genre||Biographical Philosophical novel Memoir|
|Media type||Print Hardcover & Paperback|
|Dewey Decimal||378.1/2/092 B 21|
|LC Class||LD571.B418 S383 1997|
Tuesdays with Morrie is a memoir by American writer Mitch Albom. The story was later recreated by Thomas Rickman into a TV movie of the same name directed by Mick Jackson, which aired on 17 December 1999 and starred Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria. The book topped the New York Times Non-Fiction Bestsellers of 2000. 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 show.
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, which stands for "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, 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.
Schwartz's and Albom's conversations canvas acceptance, communication, love, values, openness, and happiness. Albom emphasizes the importance of forging a culture of one's own to transcend the tyranny of popular culture, suggesting that the media are preoccupied with death, hatred, violence and depression. Misquoting his favorite poet, W. H. Auden, Schwartz insists we must "love each other or perish".
Throughout the text Albom's character changes as Schwartz's stories inspire him. Albom brings food to Schwartz at every visit, an affirmation of life and health. It is the only gift besides company that Albom is able to provide to Schwartz in his suffering.
As Schwartz's condition deteriorates, so does the hibiscus plant on top of Schwartz's study. It represents the natural trajectory of life. Schwartz tells the story of a wave crashing into shore, symbolizing death. He acknowledges his fear of death, simultaneously reassuring Albom that he will go on to something greater. Schwartz repeats the aphorism "When you're in bed, you're dead" to symbolize his final surrender and symbolizes how Morrie will die (foreshadow).
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