The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. Tragically, five days after graduations, Marina died in a car crash.
Her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, ‘The Opposite of Loneliness’, went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. Marina had struck a chord.
The Opposite of Loneliness captures the hope, uncertainty and possibility of her generation and articulates the universal struggle that all of use face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.
The main reason I was drawn to the book, The Opposite of Loneliness, is because of the title. It is ambiguous, it makes you think to yourself “what is the opposite of loneliness?”, we never really think about it I guess, we just know how it feels – as Marina Keegan put it “it’s not quite love and it’s not quite community” – it’s just that sense of belonging. The essay itself is insightful, she highlights how we’re young and we have so much time to make mistakes and how it’s never too late, that it is just the beginning.
Another factor that drove me into buying the book is because of the tragic death of the writer, Marina Keegan, she had her whole future ahead of her – with a job in line at the New Yorker, it is sad how she has been taken away from this world far too early.
But, I was curious (very curious) about her essay, The Opposite of Loneliness, I knew I could probably have accessed it online and read it there, but I wanted to buy the rest of her works as well. I am glad that I did.
I think, her work would be more towards a younger audience because her language is written in the way we understand. It is easy to empathize with her characters in her short stories – they were believable, their situations were believable and you can relate to each and everyone of them in one way or another. But there were also instances where they made me cringed and just look at the page repeating in my head “what?” But nontheless, they were well written and I enjoyed reading them.
Although, I did prefer her essays over her fictional works. Through her writing, you learn about her as a person, you can relate to what she is saying and you feel like she understood so much. She presented her work in her voice, she didn’t use another persons – no she wrote in her own unique way. Her essays opened issues for the reader to ponder on – from her essay “Why we care about whales” and “Even Artichokes have doubts”.
It is clear that she had a talent, that she was the one of the greatest writer in the making. It is just tragic how her time was cut much too short.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.