“Do you wanna leave soon?
No, I want enough time to be in love with everything…
And I cry because everything is so beautiful and so short.” -Marina Keegan
Okay, so as I write this, I am sitting on the couch of our condo, on vacation. I wasn’t planning on bringing my laptop with me, and was definitely not planning on writing anything, yet here I am. I owe it both to checking my final exam grade for the math class I’ve been taking all summer and Marina Keegan.
Marina Keegan was a graduate from Yale (magna cum laude) and a brilliant writer. Her works have been published in The New Yorker and in the Yale Daily News. She was also a playwright and aspiring journalist with a lot of promise. She had this profound voice that captures your attention instantly, and it became a hit with her professors, fellow writers, and audience. Sadly, her life ended barely after her graduation from Yale in a car accident. She was twenty-two.
The book, titled after her speech given at Yale, is a posthumous collection of her short stories and essays, and I must state that they are utterly breathtaking. I am only halfway through the book, and it was so phenomenal that I had to start this post ASAP because her writing is that good. As you all know, I have read my fair share of amazing writing but Keegan’s style is set apart from the rest. Her words are raw truth, and they speak to me. Her first short story in the collection, titled “Cold Pastoral” broke my heart in less than twenty pages, making me feel this heart-wrenching pain that I haven’t felt since Dobby died (spoiler alert).
Keegan’s style has also inspired me in a short amount of time to improve my own writing. In a list of “pitfalls” explored in the introduction/forward, Keegan discussed ways in which she desired to improve her own craft. The last object on this list was “THERE CAN ALWAYS BE A BETTER THING!” She reminds us through her personal goals that there is always room for improvement, and as a writer, this guideline is life-changing. That’s also because it applies to our lives in general. Keegan was all about living her life to the fullest even in her limited days, and serves as a reminder for us all to do the same because to be simply put: life is too short.
Without any doubt in my mind, I fully recommend “The Opposite of Loneliness.” It not only is a spectacular collection of written works, but also a legacy of a profound writer who left the world too soon.