Publisher after publisher rejected the memoir before Doubleday took a chance in 1997. At its core, the book is about the power of relationship and focusing on others.
Mitch Albom was intent on chronicling the Tuesdays he spent with Morrie Schwartz, his favorite college professor who was facing Lou Gehrig’s disease. Albom’s only goal was to write a book to pay for Schwartz’ medical bills.
But publisher after publisher rejected his book proposal. Some said Albom’s story of reconnecting with his professor who was determined to teach a final class on life’s lessons was too much of a “downer.” But Doubleday took a chance 25 years ago this month and published Tuesdays with Morrie in a limited press run.
There were no reviews at the outset. And mixed reviews in the early days.
Eventually, readers spread the news by word of mouth. Albom made an appearance on Oprah. Doubleday says to date, Tuesdays with Morrie has sold nearly 18 million copies globally and has been translated into 48 languages. It’s one of the best-selling memoirs in the history of publishing.
“I’m a much different person than I was when I first started visiting him,” Albom told NPR. “And I’m happy to give him credit for that.”
At its core, the memoir is about the power of relationship — between a professor and his student, between a man approaching his 80s and one not yet out of his 30s, and one whose accumulated life experiences can be passed down to a former student and then to the world at large, literally.
Schwartz established a rapport on Day One of class
To understand how their relationship developed, wind the clock back to the 1970s, when Albom was a freshman at Brandeis University.
Source: On the 25th anniversary of ‘Tuesdays with Morrie,’ the teaching goes on