Scribner, April 2014
An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world's attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation.
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.
Hardcover | ISBN: 9781476753614 | Publication Date: April 2014
"In her brief life Marina Keegan managed to achieve a precocious
literary mastery. Her wry, wise, lyrical voice is unforgettable,
and her vital, exuberant spirit reminds us powerfully to seize the
day. Though every sentence throbs with what might have been, this
remarkable collection is ultimately joyful and inspiring, because
it represents the wonder that she was."
-- J.R. Moehringer, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author of The Tender Bar
"The writing Marina Keegan left behind offers a
tantalizing taste of a literary voice still in development, yet
already imbued with unusual insight, nuance, humor, and
-- Deborah Treisman, Fiction Editor, The New Yorker
"I will never cease mourning the loss of my beloved former
student Marina Keegan. This book gives partial evidence of the
extraordinary promise that departed with her. Throughout she
manifests authentic dramatic invention and narrative skill. Beyond
all those, she makes a vital appeal to everyone in her generation
not to waste their gifts in mere professionalism but instead to
invest their youthful pride and exuberance both in
self-development and in the improvement of our tormented society."
-- Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the Humanities and English, Yale University
"Many of my students sound forty years old. They are articulate
but derivative, their own voices muffled by their desire to skip
over their current age and experience, which they fear trivial,
and land on some version of polished adulthood without passing Go.
Marina was twenty-one and sounded twenty-one: a brainy twenty-one,
a twenty-one who knew her way around the English language, a
twenty-one who understood that there were few better subjects than
being young and uncertain and starry-eyed and frustrated and
hopeful. When she read her work aloud around our seminar table, it
would make us snort with laughter, and then it would turn on a
dime and break our hearts."
-- Anne Fadiman, Yale University Professor of English and Francis Writer in Residence and author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down and Ex Libris
"Illuminates the optimism and neurosis felt by new grads
everywhere. . .Like every millenial who's seen irony elevated to
an art form, Keegan brings self-awareness to the collective
insecurity of her peers even as she captures it with a precision
that only comes from someone who feels it too. How unfortunate
that she will never know the value readers will find in her work."
-- Publishers Weekly