Featured Book: The Opposite of Loneliness

This post is a part of an original series created by librarians/media specialists across Central Minnesota featuring books.

OppositeofLonlinessTitle: The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan

Written by Maria Burnham, Media Specialist at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School

Well, I have to say that I am biased toward this book because the story of the author reminds me of my college days as an English major (okay, minus the graduation from Yale and the internship at The New Yorker). Marina Keegan was a talented Yale student of writing.  Shortly after graduation, she died in a tragic car accident.  This book, The Opposite of Loneliness, is a beautiful compilation of her work, both in fiction and non-fiction.  It was the perfect book to read this time of year because the first piece is an essay titled “The Opposite of Loneliness” which captures the essence of students nearing graduation.  Here’s the opening paragraph: “We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did I could say that’s what I want in life.  What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow after Commencement and leave this place.”

The fiction stories in the book are human, grounding and enticing.  They didn’t feel too lofty or snooty like some short stories can be.  The essays are beautiful and insightful and just enough to make you think about life without getting depressed.

I am sad that I will not be able to read more of her work.  I’m sure it would’ve brought me back to a subscription to The New Yorker.