Books

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

It’s impossible to read Keegan’s book of short stories and essays without constantly thinking about the tragedy of her too-early death.  Mostly this is because the introduction to her book is essentially a well-written eulogy.  But it’s also because several of her essays deal with death or a hoped-for successful life come to naught.

Keegan’s real life tragedy adds a layer of meaning to her work, but the stories stand on their own.  She was a remarkable talent, and her short stories are poignant, funny, and incredibly real.  She was able to slip into the skins of varying protagonists of different ages and sexes.  I loved reading her work, and I so wish she had lived to write more.

Book Jacket 1397733525000-TheOppositeOfLoneliness-600

Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012.  She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker.  Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

As her family, friends and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits.  She had struck a chord.

Even though she was just twenty-two when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation.  The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina’s essays and stories that, like The Last Lecture, articulates the universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.

Release Date:  April 2014

Want another opinion?  Check out reviews at Love and Sparkles and Susan Coventry.

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