The Opposite of Loneliness

The Opposite of Loneliness

Essays & Stories

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
18
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The instant New York Times bestseller and publishing phenomenon: Marina Keegan's posthumous collection of award-winning essays and stories "sparkles with talent, humanity, and youth" ( O, The Oprah Magazine ).

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 Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at The New Yorker . Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

Marina left behind a rich, deeply expansive trove of writing that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. Her short story "Cold Pastoral" was published on NewYorker.com. Her essay "Even Artichokes Have Doubts" was excerpted in the Financial Times, and her book was the focus of a Nicholas Kristof column in The New York Times . Millions of her contemporaries have responded to her work on social media.

As Marina wrote: "We can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over…We're so young. We can't, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it's all we have." The Opposite of Loneliness is an unforgettable collection of Marina's essays and stories that articulates the universal struggle all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to impact the world. "How do you mourn the loss of a fiery talent that was barely a tendril before it was snuffed out? Answer: Read this book. A clear-eyed observer of human nature, Keegan could take a clever idea...and make it something beautiful" ( People ).
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2014
ISBN: 9781476753911
9781476753614
Branch Call Number: 818.609 KEE 2014 23
Characteristics: xx, 208 pages

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a
alexiajadis
Jul 02, 2017

It's a decent collection of short stories and essays. It reads very much like a college student's work, which isn't a bad thing at all, but it's no masterpiece. Honestly, I think it got the buzz it did not because of the author's ability but rather for her sudden death.

t
tseringyangchen
Oct 10, 2016

She was an amazing writer. I only enjoyed her first poem "Opposite of Loneliness" the rest was alright but didn't really interest me.

k
kwsmith
Sep 06, 2016

I wanted to dislike this book. When young people die, we tend to mourn their lost potential. But all the lost potential in the world does not suddenly transform a young college student into a great writer. This book is a collection of short creative writing assignments. How did it get published? Because most of the stories and essays are insightful, poetic, and genuinely well written. I was surprised. And impressed.

r
rachernandez
Jun 20, 2016

This book is so beautifully written. The short stories were entertaining and thought provoking. The book is split into two with fictional and nonfiction stories. I wasn't expecting the nonfiction to be so entertaining but it was based on her amazing life and thoughts. Marina Keegan was a beautiful soul and her spirit, energy, and life shines through every page in this beautiful book.

j
jsteger719
Oct 10, 2015

Hold placed 10/10/15

k
KathyS82
Sep 22, 2015

The book itself didn't really work for me but she was a terrific writer. I would have loved to read the first story as a book. What a talent she was.

k
Karen9
Jun 24, 2015

Amazing read! For such a young writer, Marina is amazing. It is very devastating she passed away at such a young age. However, I felt she is a very bright and great student and friend to everyone. Her stories have brought me motivation and hope to endure challenges in life! I really adored her motivation to look on the positive aspects! A definitely good and recommended read.

librarylizzard Jun 08, 2015

I was blown away by the vastness and quality of the writing left behind by Marina Keegan. The knowledge that she passed away at 22, before fully pursuing her dreams, is devastating. From her writing you can tell that she was a firecracker full of passion and energy, something Anne Fadiman makes clear in the intro. The thought of what Marina might have accomplished if she lived is exceptionally sad.

Sure, much of the fiction centers on angsty young folks, but it was well written and made me feel nostalgic for my college years. There are also a few stories written from much different perspectives, and it's to Marina's credit that they don't come off as false or contrived. You get the feeling that Marina extrapolated a lot of her own feelings and experiences into her writing.

The nonfiction, is chock full of spot-on observations and deep, nagging questions (Why will people pay thousands of dollars to save beached whales but turn their noses at the homeless? Why do 25% of Yale graduates end up in finance and consulting when few ever claim to be interested in those professions?). Overall the unbridled excitement, determination and hope for the future is what charmed me and left me feeling sweetly sad.

w
writermala
May 02, 2015

This is one book I was hooked on after reading the introduction by Anne Fadiman. "If you wanted a smooth ride, Marina wasn't your vehicle," promised Anne and Marina did indeed deliver on this promise. I'm so glad that Marina Keegan left such a vast body of work that she had created in her young life and that she had devoted parents, friends, and teachers, who created this book for me to read and enjoy. Anne also says, "Marina wouldn't want to be remembered because she's dead. She would want to be remembered because she's good." No, Anne, Marina is not just good, she's great!

k
khill11
Mar 21, 2015

Over all I enjoyed the book. I don't usually read short stories. And some of the stories were better than others but she was a good writer. And if she hadn't have died so young she probably would have become a great writer.

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