Many authors write because they’re driven to put words together in meaningful and creative ways. Other authors are haunted by stories that compel them to be told in prose. Some authors write because it’s a job they do well and it brings them a good income. Then there are authors who are inspired to teach lessons through their fiction. Mitch Albom is one of the fortunate few authors who successfully embodies each of these creative motivations.
We’ll begin a discussion of fiction written as a teaching tool for life lessons on Wednesday, November 14, and complete the topic on Friday, November 16 when Albom joins us as guest host to discuss his new novel, The Time Keeper.
The Time Keeper is one of those easy reads you can give your grandmother, your teenage niece, or your son’s soccer coach. Each of these people will glean something different, a lesson (or two, or many) that speaks to their individual place in life.
Albom introduces three characters as distinct from each other as autumn leaves on a maple tree. Reaching back to the dawn of human time, we meet Dor, a man who creates a means of measuring time. The means is not the message here; the obsession with the measurement is what traps Dor for an eternity as Father Time. Fast forward to the twenty-first century and we meet Victor, a man at the end of his long life who covets more time, and Sarah, a teenage girl who seeks an end to hers. Both Victor and Sarah have appointments with destiny, each of them contriving to manipulate time. Dor is given an opportunity to redeem himself from the eternal measurement of time if he can intervene in the tragic consequences that hang over Victor and Sarah. Time is stopped, an intervention is made. When time resumes its ticking, not only has the outcome changed for Victor and Sarah, but for Father Time himself.
Written in Albom’s signature prose, sparse and still pregnant with meaning, The Time Keeper, can be read in one sitting, yet will be remembered long after.
Albom is an internationally renowned and bestselling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books have collectively sold over 33 million copies worldwide; have been published in forty-one territories and in forty-two languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.
Albom’s first book, the memoir Tuesdays with Morrie, is the chronicle of Mitch’s time spent with his beloved professor. Albom wrote the book as a labor of love to help pay Morrie’s medical bills. It spent four years on the New York Times Bestseller list and is now the most successful memoir ever published. For One More Day debuted at No.1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and spent nine months on the list. In October 2006, For One More Day was the first book chosen by Starbucks in the newly launched Book Break Program, which also helped fight illiteracy by donating one dollar from every book sold to Jumpstart. Have a Little Faith was released in September 2009 and selected by Oprah.com as the best nonfiction book of 2009.
Follow Mitch Albom on Twitter: @MitchAlbom.