Tuesdays with Morrie
|Genre||Biographical, Philosophical novel, Memoir|
|Media type||Print Hardcover, Paperback|
|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 December 5, 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 book.
In 2007, the 10th anniversary of the book's publishing, a new edition with an afterword by Mitch Albom was released.
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.
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.
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 premier on December 5, 1999 on the ABC Network and starred Jack Lemmon as Morrie and Hank Azaria as Mitch.  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.