Title: The Opposite of Loneliness
Author: Marina Keegan
Publication Date: April 8, 2015
Published by: Scribner
Genre: Non-Fiction, Short Stories
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.
I read this book because a lot of people said or wrote amazing things about it, and I was really intrigued by the title of the book and the tragic story behind the writer. This book has an introduction, a speech, nine stories in the fiction part, and eight essays in the non-fiction part. I loved the introduction to the book written by one of Marina’s teachers, I liked the speech “The Opposite of Loneliness” even if it was not as extraordinary as I thought it was gonna be, I really liked four stories in the fiction part and four of the essays in the non-fiction part, which basically means I enjoyed around half of this book and the rest of the time I was a bit bored.
I think Marina Keegan was a very talented writer, but when I was reading this book I often felt that I could see the talent and the potential in the writing, but it still needed a lot of work to be truly great. Nonetheless, I could see the potential, and I think this book would have recived a higher rating if it wasn’t because not only did I feel like the writing needed more work, but also because a lot of the stories or essays were focused on random or very particular things that would only be interesting to certain people. I felt like Marina’s writing was better when she focused on subject or topics that were closer or more personal to her, because for me, when she wrote about more random topics it was really hard to connect with the stories.
Nonetheless, while I was reading this book and after I finished it, I felt this incredible desire and inspiration to write more, and I feel that just because of that, reading this book was a great experience. I would really reccomend this book to every aspiring writer.