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. (Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
Sometimes there are moments where life reaches out and slaps you across the face. You find something that wakes you up and inspires action and most of all hope. Reading Marina Keegan’s work was one of those moments for me. I have been aware of this book for a while, but had put it off due to the ubiquitous “fear it won’t be as good as people claim”. Boy, was I wrong.
I was set up to be disappointed. I typically hate short stories. As far as I’m concerned it’s like eating one fun sized Snickers or reading one chapter in a book. Who does that? Once I started on this collection, I consumed the remainder within 18 hours despite work interruptions (No, I did not play hooky though extremely tempting). These stories had me alternating between tears, hope, thoughtfulness and joy. Read this book. Remember what it was like to be 22, and find an amazing collection of work infused with energy and enthusiasm.
Rating: 5 stars!
Who should read it? Just buy it. Even you non-readers can handle short stories!