Picture of author.

Marina Keegan (1989–2012)

Teoksen The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories tekijä

3 teosta 1,272 jäsentä 48 arvostelua

Tietoja tekijästä

Marina Keegan was born in Wayland, Massachusetts on October 25, 1989. She was a journalist and playwright who won national attention for urging her fellow college students to resist the lure of Wall Street when she helped organize a protest challenging campus recruiting. She graduated from Yale näytä lisää University in 2012 and was going to be an assistant at The New Yorker magazine. She died in a car crash on May 26, 2012 at the age of 22. She wrote a musical with two other students entitled Independents, which was a prize-winning selection in the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival. Her book, The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories, was published in 2014. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän
Image credit: Marina Keegan.

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I really wanted to love this book, and in some ways I did. I think she had some good ideas, and she had an understanding of the human condition and the complexity of emotion that was beyond her years. She might have become an exceptional writer someday, but unfortunately her time was cut short and all we are left with is the infancy of her work. That being said I think that this book is worth reading, even if only to remind us that we can never be certain of anything.
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jskeltz | 47 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 23, 2023 |
I honestly don't read much non-fiction, and definitely not many short story collections. However, when the reading advisory group at my work slated short stories for the next meeting, I remembered The Opposite of Loneliness having garnered quite a bit of attention (meaning mainly that I have seen it appear on a lot of lists). And this is exactly why I like going to such meetings and doing reading challenges such as Read Harder and PopSugar: I am challenged to read genres that I may not normally pick up. I must give credit to this collection of Keegan's work that it has gotten me a lot more interested in reading short story collections and non-fiction in general. Of course this collection was a mixture of both non-fiction and fiction though, as Keegan wrote both.

I have seen some people critique Keegan’s writing as being perhaps not ready for publication, or at least not for the attention it has received. These critics seem to see her writing as very much the experiences of a college aged student and that it doesn’t achieve the level of “literary” she seemed to strive towards. While it is true that Keegan wrote from her experience, to me this is not a negative. By writing from what she knew, Keegan was able to delve deep into the topics and make even the most mundane of situations feel so real and intimate that even her fictional works felt like reading someone’s diary.

Keegan was undoubtedly still finding her literary voice, and sadly will never get the chance to continue doing so. However, I would also argue that all authors continue in this same development throughout their lives. And with so many people who have to look back and try to remember just how they felt and how the world looked to them at that age to try and write their characters, it is nice to have the perspective of someone who actually is living that experience. There were certainly times where I thought to myself that I used to feel the same way about things she is expressing but now that I am older I see them differently— but there’s nothing wrong with that. Part of the joy of reading is to understand events, thoughts, and emotions through a wide array of perspectives. Furthermore, in many of these works Keegan was writing for the audience of her peers in such mediums as the school paper so it really became even more important to be writing of her own experience as a way to connect with her audiences’ very similar one.

The Opposite of Loneliness was a very bittersweet read for me because on the one hand I really enjoyed her writing style and enthusiasm, but on the other, it was sad to see all the hope she had for a future that seemed nearly infinite to her. It was sad to see how much potential and drive she had to meet that future head on. As far as the individual pieces, a lot has been said in particular about her commencement speech being one of her best pieces of writing but I actually don’t agree. When talking about that intimate feeling Keegan is able to evoke, like reading someone’s diary, I feel that her “Cold Pastoral” is perhaps able to pull off that feeling the best. I also enjoyed the insight of her observances in “Why We Care of About Whales” and probably self-identify the most with “Stability in Motion” because I very much have had to spend a lot of time in my car and it is very “lived in.” I feel like there were many places in her other writings that I was also able to easily identify with though, simply because it all felt very real.

I am glad that I took this opportunity to read a book of essays and short stories and was pleasantly surprised to have liked this pick better than I thought I would have. To go along with this one, I also read American Like Me which was compiled and edited by America Ferrara and I also really enjoyed that one! I will be writing a review for that book soon as well. My final rating for The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan is a 5/5 stars.

… (lisätietoja)
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rianainthestacks | 47 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 5, 2023 |
Amongst the books I select for my reading list from time to time, I try to leave space for one or two 'discoveries' which find their way to me, rather than me going looking for them.
So, the late Marina Keegan's youthful essays and stories, grouped together here under the lead-in piece called 'The Opposite of Loneliness' just happened to be sitting on a shelf in a charity bookshop in the south of England in mid-2023. I picked it up and saw that one of the comments on the cover was from JR Moehringer, who is - coincidentally - the author of a much more famous book on my reading list for later in the year.
On a near-impulse, then, I purchased the book and began to read it. The introduction, by Anne Fadiman, alone, sets the work in the context of the author's untimely death in a road traffic accident in 2012 and each of the pieces following showcases a young and talented writer with something to say and a distinctive way of saying it.
Some of the fictional pieces are more successful than others and you suspect that the writer's lived experience must have inspired the realism of 'Cold Pastoral' and 'Winter Break'. Her imagination reigns freer with 'Reading Aloud' and 'Hail, Full of Grace' and, a particular favourite of mine, 'Sclerotherapy'.
But one or two of Keegan's non-fiction essays are sublimely written and very affecting. 'Stability in Motion' is a beautiful piece about everything a car means to its first owner, 'Against The Grain' is nothing short of a love-song to a once-taken-for-granted (but not any more) mother and 'Song for the Special' is the author's calling-card to the world she leaves behind.
The essay which surprised me the most was 'Why We Care About Whales'. In a beautifully weighted piece of writing, Keegan contrasts the care and concern some people show for stranded whales with that shown to homeless people or others who fall off society's radar. She manages to do this without belittling the care needed by the whales, and freely given by those who attempt to rescue them. It's a simply delightful essay which changed my mind about the subjects covered.
So, this was largely a well-written collection of stories by a writer with a keen eye for observation and a keen ear for language. Mostly, it was very enjoyable and occasionally it was sublime.
It's a shame that we will never hear or read the voice of this author as they mature. Their youthful voice, however, is still powerful, tempered and effective. Recommended.
… (lisätietoja)
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SunnyJim | 47 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 11, 2023 |
A mere five days after graduating magna cum laude from Yale University Marina Keegan lost her life in an auto accident at the tender young age of 21. She had dreamed of being a writer so her family and friends took it upon themselves to gather up her small body of work and present it to the public in this book. And wow, was Marina talented ! The little book is a gem. Without a doubt, she would have gone on to accomplish great things. By all means, give it a read.
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kevinkevbo | 47 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 14, 2023 |


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