Tuesdays with Morrie

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Tuesdays with Morrie Study Guide

Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.

Brief Biography of Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom was born in Passaic, NJ. His family moved and settled in Oaklyn, NJ. Albom taught himself to play piano as a child and played in several bands throughout his adolescence. He skipped his senior year of high school and left for Brandeis University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 1979. After a brief stint in Europe and New York City playing music, he developed an interest in journalism, which led him to pursue a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University and then an MBA, also from Columbia University. He settled in Detroit, MI in 1985, and earned national acclaim working as a sports journalist in newspaper, television, and radio. He married his wife, Janine, in 1995, the same year he reconnected with his fomer Brandeis professor Morrie Schwartz, which led him to write Tuesdays with Morrie, which became a bestseller. Since writing Tuesdays with Morrie, Albom has written several other books in the same thematic vein, including The Five People You Meet in Heaven. He has also founded eight charities, most of which serve the Detroit area. He lives with Janine in Detroit and hosts a daily radio talk show.
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Historical Context of Tuesdays with Morrie

ALS was discovered in 1869 by Jean-Martin Charcot, a French neurologist, although it didn't garner international attention until US baseball player Lou Gherig went public with his diagnosis in the late 1930s. In 2016, 21 years after Morrie's death, donations raised from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge led to the discovery of NEK1. NEK1 is one of several genes believed to be responsible for ALS, paving the way for new developments in treatment.

Other Books Related to Tuesdays with Morrie

Since writing Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom has written several other books. His second nonfiction book, Have a Little Faith, is written in a similar style of recorded conversations. The Five People You Meet in Heaven was his first foray into fiction and deals with similar themes of life, death, and spirituality. Tuesdays with Morrie is one of several memoirs dealing with living with ALS, such as I Remember Running by Darcy Wakefield and Tales From the Bed: On Living, Dying, and Having it All by Jennifer Estess, written in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
Key Facts about Tuesdays with Morrie
  • Full Title: Tuesdays with Morrie
  • When Written: 1995-96
  • Where Written: Detroit, MI
  • When Published: 1997
  • Literary Period: Contemporary
  • Genre: Memoir
  • Setting: Brandeis University, late 1970s; West Newton, MA, 1995
  • Climax: When Mitch visits Morrie for the final time and says goodbye
  • Antagonist: Death, ALS
  • Point of View: first person, narrated by Mitch

Extra Credit for Tuesdays with Morrie

Morrie on TV and Broadway. Tuesdays with Morrie was adapted into a TV movie in the winter of 1999. It was produced by Oprah Winfrey and won four Emmy awards. Albom also wrote the script for an off-Broadway production.

Unexpected worldwide success. While the book was originally published in an edition of 20,000 copies to help pay Morrie's medical bills, it has since sold over 41 million copies and been translated into 45 languages (as of 2015).