The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories
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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).
his fingers. “Dude, you gotta stop talking about Taiwan. You’re becoming the kid who went to India.” Danny tore off a scorecard and placed it in front of him. “I didn’t go to India.” “That’s not the point.” He looked toward Olivia and they shared a smile. “Noah spent last summer in Taiwan,” she said to me. “If you’re lucky, he’ll show you his album of eight million photographs later . . . but it will be hard because you can’t really understand unless you’ve been there.” “Oh
woke up at sunrise to a dead-low tide, placed my skirts and flats in neat piles inside my bag, padded down the staircase, and walked out the door into the now crisp Cape Cod air. The drive to New York felt short and I didn’t stop until I reached the city and walked in the door and padded up the staircase and turned off my phone to sleep for a long, long time. * * * I remember trying to explain to my mother why the Yahtzee was so essential but she didn’t understand. We were getting lunch
unkempt. But we hear firefights now. Firefights and sirens and tiny pops from the city. The city I’ve lived in for months but never really seen. How’s work? * * * To: Laura.Kenzie@gmail.com From: William.Madar@CPA.Kellogg.gov Date: Aug 10, 2003 at 12:35 AM Subject: hi! Laura, Again, sorry it’s been so long. My work is starting to consume me and when Haaya and I aren’t in the office, we’re usually asleep. Finding these moments alone with my laptop is getting harder.
desert, Luke was getting fed up. He’d refuse cameras and yell off those who stared, exhausted and appalled by the endless annoyance. I liked it. When a rickshaw driver turned around or a schoolboy held out his phone, I flattered myself beyond the obvious parameters. I knew, of course, that my white skin and light features were responsible for the attention, but some part of me still took pleasure from being stared at on trains and photographed in city gardens. I didn’t quite mind posing
that’s unattractive. She just has this look on her face a lot. Sort of aloof and wide eyed and her lips purse slightly when she’s looking somewhere or reading the computer. And it just really turns me off. I look at her at those times and I just think like, fuck, I need to get out of this. And then I feel bad about it because part of me really does like her. Lauren was hotter—or at least had a better body (more in shape). And the sex was better. But it’s probably because Claire’s so clearly