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The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories Paperback – 23 Apr 2015
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About the Author
Marina Keegan (1989-2012) was an award-winning author, journalist, playwright, poet, actress and activist. Her non-fiction has been published in the New York Times; her fiction has been published on NewYorker.com and read on NPR's Selected Shorts; her musical, Independents, was a New York Times Critics' Pick. Marina's final essay for the Yale Daily News, 'The Opposite of Loneliness', became an instant global sensation, viewed by more than 1.4 million people from 98 countries. For more information, visit www.theoppositeofloneliness.com
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Marina Keegan is described as an American author that passed away five days after graduating from college in 2012, but she is more than that. The Opposite of Loneliness is a collection of her short stories and personal essays, all of which were chosen by Anne Fadiman (her college professor and friend) after Marina's death. She is remembered as the talented writer that died after her graduation, but for me that doesn't do her justice. She wasn't just a writer, she was a story-teller, she had, and still has, the capability to draw people into a world and make them feel, she has the power to delve into the mind of a complete stranger and make it feel like you are the only person in the world that matters. She is not her death, she is her words, her beautiful descriptions, her understanding of the human soul, and so much more.
What is it about
The book is a collection of short stories and essays, all of which explore human emotion; from the old woman that strips off to read to a blind man, to Marina's personal essay on having Celiac disease, each piece leaves you feeling - feeling what? Well, that's up to the individual reader, but for me, the more I read on, the more I wanted to escape my life and become a better human.
Within the short amount of space that we are given to learn about her characters, their lives and their stories, we end up learning more about ourselves through their very creation. What would we do in that situation? How would we react to this? and most importantly, how will our present effect our future?
In the short story, Reading Aloud is the line 'aging is harder for beautiful people' and a first I thought nothing of it, but I came back to it and I kept coming back to it. She was right. In those six words, in a singular short story, she has opened up an entire world of debate, understanding and discovery. Whether she knew it or not, Marina was a genius.
It should be on every university reading list - especially her article titled "Even Artichokes have Doubts" which applies to Yale and the consultancy industry but could equally be applied to any university or college anywhere in the world.
Her short stories were well written and typical of a 22 year old as she wrote about what she knew. They were easily identifiable and thought provoking.
Marina Keegan's young and sharp prose is really intelligent. I loved the sense of tragic reality through all her short stories like "Cold Pastoral" which is my favorite of them all. But "Stability in Motion" from her non-fiction section is really intimate and Marian suddenly made me wonder if I had ever had such an item that brought me through so much like Keegan's Camry.
I have recommended it to all my book-loving friends and I'm excited to hear what their thoughts are about it!
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