The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When I heard about this book last year I knew I had to read it because it is so heartbreaking to think of a writer right on the cusp of success having her life snuffed out early but not not before she wrote an essay with such a fabulous name: The Opposite of Loneliness.
Like most short story/essay collections I liked some of the selctions more than others. None, other than the titled essay, really caused me to pause except perhaps the odd, prescient short story, "Cold Pastoral" where the girl's boyfriend dies suddenly. One day there, gone the next. It felt a little too close to what happened the the writer and so it struck an odd chord in me.
The forward, written by one of Marina Keegan's professors Anne Fadiman, was really helpful in understanding what a brilliant and unique girl this young writer was. What a shame. What a shame. Gone too soon. Her mother also described the process that the family went through, with the help from Marina's friends and college professors to curate this collection. Ms. Fadiman said she was sure that Marina would have wanted to edit each of the pieces and would have been mortified to think of their publication without changes here and there. That comment reminded me of the article I read about the post mortem publication of Terry Pratchett's last book, The Shepherd's Crown. The publisher said that his Alzheimer's disease kept him from finalizing his book, as he would have wanted. It didn't matter. I loved the book even more because it was his last and he tried.
Bravo for Marina Keegan and her writing. Bravo for making a difference in the short time she was walking on this earth. Bravo for this book.
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