The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan – A Review
Unfortunately the author, Marina Keegan, is not able to enjoy the success of this lovely compilation of her work. This collection of her writings was put together after her very untimely death from a car accident. The title, The Opposite of Loneliness is also one of her most famous writings, published while she was a student at Yale and it went viral for hundreds of thousands of people to read. There is a sense of sadness when reading this book because we know the author is not with us. Her talk of life and death is riveting and difficult to wrap our feelings around considering we know that her life is now over.
Legacy is something most writers work to have. A legacy of their great writing, of their thoughts, this is what writers hope will come of their work. For Keegan, her early work will be left as her legacy, but there looms the thought of what great writings she would have continued to deliver to the world throughout her life. If her college writing could already move us, what would her writing have done ten, twenty or even thirty years into experience? We will never know, but we can take her thoughts from her youth and use them in our lives.
The joy of Keegan’s writing is that it does not only appeal to the young reader. People of all ages can relate to her thoughts and feelings on life, love and the day to day world. The short essays are insightful and full of expression that is way beyond the years of a typical college student. The universal appeal of this book makes it a joy to read whether you are male or female, young or old.
Interestingly Keegan is writing about death in much of her writing; the death of herself even, which is astonishing when you think about her dying only a few short days after she graduated from college. The career that was ahead of Keegan had her working at the New Yorker, writing a play and living a successful and happy life of her dreams. The thought of this dream life getting cut short is enough to make the reader want to pursue their own dreams even more. Not to wait one more second before they go after that goal they have always wanted.
In the end, yes Marina Keegan is dead. Yes, her life was cut way too short, as many young people and their family’s learn throughout the world. But a short life is still and important one. A short life can still offer insights to the world that we might not have come to one our own. It is surly plausible that a short life can be a well lived life that contributes in totality to the world around them. For Marina Keegan, her short life did in fact contribute to those around her. Family, friends and readers of her writings will remember her as a witty and insightful writer who moved them emotionally.