I have not posted about the books I love in a while. Most times I find myself writing about female authors and my favorite classics. This time I want to bring to front a novel of significance by a gentleman that was also made into a film. Tuesdays with Morrie is a memoir by American writer and journalist Mitch Albom. The story was later recreated into a TV movie of the same name and starred Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria. The book topped the New York Times Non-Fiction Bestsellers of 2000.
Tuesdays with Morris is the result of fourteen Tuesdays that Mitch Albom spent with his 78-year-old sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz, from his time at Brandeis University, who was dying from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). While a successful sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press, Albom after seeing Schwartz on Nightline 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.
Each Tuesday Mitch Albom brings Morrie food to eat, even though as Morrie’s condition worsens he is no longer able to enjoy solid food. Mitch brings with him a bag of food from the grocery store for Morrie to enjoy, as he knows that his professor’s favorite hobby, second to dancing, is eating. The food that Mitch brings for Morrie serves as a reminder for Mitch of the days he and his professor would eat together in the cafeteria at Brandeis, when he had been young and passionate, and Morrie energetic and in good health. Now, Mitch has been corrupted by commercial wealth, and Morrie by his illness. Although he knows that Morrie can no longer eat solids, Mitch continues to bring food each week because he so fears Morrie’s fast-approaching death. The food Mitch brings him acts as a means by which to cling to Morrie and the fond memories Mitch has of his favorite professor. For Mitch, food is the only gift he can give to Morrie, and feels helpless as to how to soothe him any other way.
On these Tuesdays, the conversation are life lessons. Each of Morrie’s lessons contributes to a larger, all-encompassing message that each individual should reject popular cultural values, and instead develop his own. Morrie recites a quote by his favorite poet, W. H. Auden, to encompass one of his most important lessons to Mitch: “Love each other or perish.” It’s a quote of simple words that can complete any wedding speech.
Throughout his fourteen Tuesday lessons with Mitch, Morrie divulges that love is the essence of every person, and every relationship, and that to live without it, as Auden says, is to live with nothing. In the absence of love, there is a void that can be filled only by loving human relationships. When love abounds, Morrie says, a person can experience no higher sense of fulfillment.
What better book to represent the Love Food Life Alchemy than Tuesdays with Morrie. My food inspiration for this book is Potato Rounds with Smoked Salmon.