The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
Essays and Stories

84%

26 Critic Reviews

As humane as it is sympathetic, Keegan’s work is a poignantly inspiring reminder of what is possible in the pursuit of dreams. A well-deserved tribute to a talented young writer.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

The instant New York Times bestseller and publishing phenomenon: Marina Keegan’s posthumous collection of award-winning essays and stories “sparkles with talent, humanity, and youth” (O, The Oprah Magazine).

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 Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at The New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

Marina left behind a rich, deeply expansive trove of writing that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. Her short story “Cold Pastoral” was published on NewYorker.com. Her essay “Even Artichokes Have Doubts” was excerpted in the Financial Times, and her book was the focus of a Nicholas Kristof column in The New York Times. Millions of her contemporaries have responded to her work on social media.

As Marina wrote: “We can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over…We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.” The Opposite of Loneliness is an unforgettable collection of Marina’s essays and stories that articulates the universal struggle all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to impact the world. “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).
 

About Marina Keegan

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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.
 
Published April 8, 2014 by Scribner. 241 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, Gay & Lesbian. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 27 2014
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Opposite of Loneliness
All: 26 | Positive: 25 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Feb 03 2014

As humane as it is sympathetic, Keegan’s work is a poignantly inspiring reminder of what is possible in the pursuit of dreams. A well-deserved tribute to a talented young writer.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Dec 09 2013

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.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Claire Hazelton on Jun 26 2015

Despite her short life and limited literary output, Keegan’s legacy – her wisdom, optimism, her faith in people – will be far-reaching.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Nastasha Tripney on May 31 2015

In some of the stories you can feel Keenan experimenting and testing herself, pushing beyond the familiar, trying new things, and while some of these experiments are more successful than others, in the best of them there is an energy at play, a kind of bubbling brightness.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by LUCY SCHOLES on Jul 26 2014

Sentences written lightheartedly are piercingly loud reminders of what will never be...Keegan may have died before her time, but she was a writer who demonstrated a gift beyond her years.

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The Economist

Good
on May 17 2014

Reading this book is both heartbreaking and entertaining. It reveals a woman who tried to balance expectations of greatness with anxieties about falling short.

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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Stacey May Fowles on Apr 18 2014

...this book is a generous reminder, a lesson from someone who is tragically not here to live her life in the admirable way that you know, simply by reading her words, that she would have.

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Washington Independent Review of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Kristina Moriconi on Jun 18 2012

These stories and essays are the inhale and the slow exhale of that deep breath at the top of the tower...I cannot fathom what a prolific future Marina Keegan would have had if her life had not come to a tragic end at twenty-two. But I do know that readers everywhere should consider themselves fortunate to glimpse the talent...

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The Boston Globe

Excellent
Reviewed by Sophie Flack on Apr 08 2014

Keegan’s storytelling is so strong that the reader quickly becomes invested...While unsettling at times (the hair on my arms stood on end more than once), the feeling of being socked in the stomach doesn’t come from remembering Keegan’s death, but instead from the gut-wrenching vulnerability of her characters.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Good
Reviewed by Wendeline O. Wright on Apr 05 2014

This collection would have been impressive from any 23-year-old author, but knowing that it is being released posthumously tempers the feeling of discovery with sadness. It is to our detriment as readers that we will be deprived of watching her talent and skill grow with each new work.

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Huntington News

Good
Reviewed by David M. Kinchen on Apr 08 2014

My wish is that her book will inspire others to escape the pessimism and do what they really want to do: write. If you have the talent and willpower of a Marina Keegan, you'll be happy with your furniture from Goodwill or even rescued from a Dumpster!

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Vox Magazine

Good
Reviewed by ABBEY DEAN on Apr 16 2014

...this collection embodies her talent and promise. As I read this book, especially her nonfiction, I felt as though I knew Keegan.

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Luxury Reading

Good
Reviewed by Vera on Aug 19 2014

The genius of Keegan is that she was able to get some points across without boring or alienating the reader. It’s so sad that she isn’t able to grow into her writing, but at least there is a very excellent compilation of her work out there so everyone can see how great she was.

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Book Loons

Above average
Reviewed by Rheta Van Winkle on Jan 11 2015

For Marina, sadly, her possibilities came to an end shortly after her graduation. Reading this book, though, I came to believe that other people might be inspired by her words in these stories and essays. The writing is beautiful and engaging, a brief glimpse into the mind of an intelligent and empathetic young woman.

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Reading Lark

Good
on Mar 13 2014

"The Opposite of Loneliness" is a diverse and delicious collection of essays and short stories that will leave you satisfied and wishing you had Keegan's next book to look forward to.

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Reading World

Good
Reviewed by Susan on Apr 14 2014

...Marina wanted to beat the odds and be a writer...The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories shows that Marina was up to that challenge. She was a writer. Don’t read the book because she’s dead. Read it because it’s wonderful.

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A Bookish Affair

Good
Reviewed by Meg on Jun 08 2014

These stories are both warm, beautiful, and so many of them hit me right in the feels. I loved both the fiction and the non-fiction tales in this book. This would be a great pick for when you're looking for a book to make you ponder and reflect even after you shut the book.

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Lost in a Great Book

Good
on Apr 15 2014

After reading this book of short stories and essays, I have joined the ranks of individuals who wonder what else she might have accomplished, and will continue to marvel at what she managed to leave behind.

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Minding Spot

Excellent
Reviewed by Minding Spot on May 28 2014

I really enjoyed the stories and essays that were put in the book; it really made me think about how I felt when I was her age and how my children must feel at that age now. I became sort of confused upon reading certain sections of the book, but overall I still really loved reading these stories and essays that this amazing author had written.

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The Review Broads

Good
Reviewed by Ava on Mar 31 2014

This collection is always surprising and Keegan’s talent emerges gracefully and with full force as she delves into love, and transcendence. We have to thank her parents and professors for collecting the writing she left and offering it to her readers...

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Just Another New Blog

Excellent
Reviewed by Dina N on Apr 08 2014

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.

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Girls Just Reading

Good
Reviewed by Alice on Apr 02 2014

I believe anyone who enjoys short stories and observations will benefit from this collection. It is beautifully written and full of soul. It is a shame Marina Keegan was taken so soon. I can only imagine what other greatness would have come from her...

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Novel Thoughts

Above average
Reviewed by Charlee Vale on May 21 2014

The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina’s essays and stories that...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...This book is both moving, and stunning.

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GenerationgBooks

Excellent
Reviewed by generationgbooks on Jan 12 2014

You get a better idea at what made her make and break; what drove her, and what shaped her to be the young lady who authored this collection. In doing that, though, you find yourself becoming familiarized with Marina’s life and college times, and you grow to like and respect her vision...

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David Kinchen

Good
Reviewed by David Kinchen on Apr 09 2014

This is a review I didn’t want to write. Not because the essays and short stories in Marina Keegan’s “The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories”...aren’t good. On the contrary, I’m sad because they show so much promise and their 22-year-old author won’t write any more.

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http://tothemotherhood.com

Excellent
Reviewed by HilLesha on Apr 11 2014

I normally can’t finish a book in one sitting, but Marina has this uncanny talent of captivating a reader’s attention, making them feel like they can’t put the book down until it’s read from start to finish. For a young woman at her age, her writing style, plots, and characters are so in-depth and developed that it’s almost unbelievable.

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Reader Rating for The Opposite of Loneliness
77%

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