Life Lessons From Marina Keegan's Posthumous Book of Essays
The new book, out now. Photo: ScribnerWith this week's publication of "The Opposite of Loneliness," Marina Keegan's posthumous collection of essays and stories, comes a gift no one ever fully wants to receive - bright and youthful wisdom from a talent who died too soon. Keegan was just 22 years old and five days past graduating magna cum laude from Yale University when she was killed in a car accident on her way to meet her family for her father's birthday party on Cape Cod. And while she had a brilliant future ahead of her - a job lined up at the New Yorker, a play about to be produced at a theater festival - the rising star had already made a major mark.
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"When a young person dies, much of the tragedy lies in her promise: what she would have done," notes Anne Fadiman, a professor and Keegan's mentor at Yale, in the new book's introduction. "But Marina left what she had already done: an entire body of writing far more than could fit between these covers."
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Shortly after Keegan's death, her final essay for the Yale Daily News went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. That piece, "The Opposite of Loneliness," is the first in the new collection - one that you'll be grateful is here, in spite of yourself. Here are just five of many lessons the young writer's words teach: