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The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories

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The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Journalist and playwright (whose musical Independents was a prize-winning selection in the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival) Keegan's posthumous collection, with an introduction by Anne Fadiman, serves as a tribute to the author, who died in a car crash in 2012, five days after graduating Yale University. The book illuminates the optimism and neurosis felt by new grads everywhere: 'The notion that it's too late to do anything is comical. It's hilarious. We're graduating college. We're so young.' Though the collection features more fiction than non-, the author's voice is similar in both. Her essays hide musings about her life and relationships under innocuous subjects: her mother's over-protectiveness about Keegan's celiac disease, for example, leads Keegan to a deeper understanding of what it means to be a parent. In her fiction, the thematic preoccupations are closer to the surface, such as the relationship definition problems a girl faces when the boy she was 'involved, of course, but not associated ' suddenly dies. Like every millennial 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. Agent: Lane Zachary, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

“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

Review:

"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

Review:

"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

Review:

"Funny, poignant, tender, and fiercely alive, 'The Opposite of Loneliness' contains the keen observations of a short lifetime — and the wisdom of a much longer one." Jennifer DuBois, author of Cartwheel and A Partial History of Lost Causes

Review:

“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 sensitivity.” Deborah Treisman, Fiction Editor, The New Yorker

Review:

“Two years after a young writer’s death, her words soar....The Opposite of Loneliness...sparkles with talent, humanity, and youth. The prose, polished but thoroughly unselfconscious, is heartbreaking evidence of what could have been.” O Magazine

Review:

"A bittersweet, what-might-have-been book filled with youthful optimism, energy, honesty, and beyond-her-years wisdom." Yale Alumni Magazine

Review:

"The Opposite of Loneliness captures in both fiction and nonfiction [Keegan's] adventures in love and lust, the weird bliss of being stoned, and, as she writes, what it’s like to see 'everything in the world build up and then everything in the world fall down again.'" Elle

Review:

"Remarkable...a compelling literary voice...the appeal of this collection is its improvisational quality, its feeling of being unfinished but always questioning." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"How do you mourn the loss of a fiery talent that was barely a tendril before it was snuffed out? Answer: Read this book. A clear-eyed observer of human nature, [Keegan] could take a clever idea...and make it something beautiful." People Magazine

Review:

"A triumph...Keegan was right to prod us all to reflect on what we seek from life." Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

Review:

"The Opposite of Loneliness does [Keegan's] talent and memory justice, both as a picture of a generation entering adulthood and as a highly personal portrait of a gifted young woman." Pittsburgh-Post Gazette

Review:

“What a gift Keegan has left behind. Not only in her written words...but also in her legacy of social activism and fierce belief in leading a life of purpose, not privilege." Joseph P. Kahn, Boston Globe

Review:

“Keegan’s fiction… is built around the kind of empathetic extrapolation that makes for all the best realism… Keegan would have been — would have continued to be — a star. She would have been famous, not quietly or vaguely, but really, really famous.” The New Republic

Review:

“[Keegan] was one of the most present, incisive, and hopeful writers.…That’s the gift and the pain of her book. How incredible, how lucky, that we get to read her words, that people who never knew her or her work can find it for themselves, that she was in some way given the chance to speak to the world the way she wanted.” Buzzfeed

Review:

“The loveliest piece of writing I’ve ever seen from someone so young… Her voice is steady and often very funny, her senses of character and pace are frighteningly good, and the flow of her prose is easy to get carried away by. She wasn't just college-talented; she was talented, period.” Kevin Roose, New York Magazine

About the Author

Marina Keegan (1989-2012) was an award-winning author, journalist, playwright, actress and activist. Her 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 nations.  Her play Utility Monster opened the Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theater 2013 season; her musical, Independents, was a New York Times Critics' Pick and won one of four Best Overall awards among nearly 200 shows in the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781476753614
Author:
Keegan, Marina
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Author:
Fadiman, Anne
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
graduation; graduation gift; commencement; commencement speech; The Opposite of Loneliness; Marina Keegan book; Katie Couric; Nick Kristof; graduation speech; Yale; Yale University; fiction; essays; short stories; college; campus; graduation; posthumous c
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20140431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
212.725 x 139.7 mm

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The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories New Hardcover
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Product details 240 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9781476753614 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Journalist and playwright (whose musical Independents was a prize-winning selection in the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival) Keegan's posthumous collection, with an introduction by Anne Fadiman, serves as a tribute to the author, who died in a car crash in 2012, five days after graduating Yale University. The book illuminates the optimism and neurosis felt by new grads everywhere: 'The notion that it's too late to do anything is comical. It's hilarious. We're graduating college. We're so young.' Though the collection features more fiction than non-, the author's voice is similar in both. Her essays hide musings about her life and relationships under innocuous subjects: her mother's over-protectiveness about Keegan's celiac disease, for example, leads Keegan to a deeper understanding of what it means to be a parent. In her fiction, the thematic preoccupations are closer to the surface, such as the relationship definition problems a girl faces when the boy she was 'involved, of course, but not associated ' suddenly dies. Like every millennial 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. Agent: Lane Zachary, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , "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.”
"Review" by , "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
"Review" by , "Funny, poignant, tender, and fiercely alive, 'The Opposite of Loneliness' contains the keen observations of a short lifetime — and the wisdom of a much longer one."
"Review" by , “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 sensitivity.”
"Review" by , “Two years after a young writer’s death, her words soar....The Opposite of Loneliness...sparkles with talent, humanity, and youth. The prose, polished but thoroughly unselfconscious, is heartbreaking evidence of what could have been.”
"Review" by , "A bittersweet, what-might-have-been book filled with youthful optimism, energy, honesty, and beyond-her-years wisdom."
"Review" by , "The Opposite of Loneliness captures in both fiction and nonfiction [Keegan's] adventures in love and lust, the weird bliss of being stoned, and, as she writes, what it’s like to see 'everything in the world build up and then everything in the world fall down again.'"
"Review" by , "Remarkable...a compelling literary voice...the appeal of this collection is its improvisational quality, its feeling of being unfinished but always questioning."
"Review" by , "How do you mourn the loss of a fiery talent that was barely a tendril before it was snuffed out? Answer: Read this book. A clear-eyed observer of human nature, [Keegan] could take a clever idea...and make it something beautiful."
"Review" by , "A triumph...Keegan was right to prod us all to reflect on what we seek from life."
"Review" by , "The Opposite of Loneliness does [Keegan's] talent and memory justice, both as a picture of a generation entering adulthood and as a highly personal portrait of a gifted young woman."
"Review" by , “What a gift Keegan has left behind. Not only in her written words...but also in her legacy of social activism and fierce belief in leading a life of purpose, not privilege."
"Review" by , “Keegan’s fiction… is built around the kind of empathetic extrapolation that makes for all the best realism… Keegan would have been — would have continued to be — a star. She would have been famous, not quietly or vaguely, but really, really famous.”
"Review" by , “[Keegan] was one of the most present, incisive, and hopeful writers.…That’s the gift and the pain of her book. How incredible, how lucky, that we get to read her words, that people who never knew her or her work can find it for themselves, that she was in some way given the chance to speak to the world the way she wanted.”
"Review" by , “The loveliest piece of writing I’ve ever seen from someone so young… Her voice is steady and often very funny, her senses of character and pace are frighteningly good, and the flow of her prose is easy to get carried away by. She wasn't just college-talented; she was talented, period.”
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