Tiring of repetitive, run of the mill pop culture reading material, I passively sought out a book that would not only leave me inspired but a touch wiser. After what seemed like an exhaustive Google search I came across The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. Having never heard of the book or the author before, I was immediately captivated so I found a copy and dove right in.
The first thing you discover about the author is that she is dead. A fresh off the stage Yale graduate who, at the much too young age of twenty-two, was tragically killed in a car accident days after her graduation. This book is a tribute to her life and writing, and it is beyond fitting. Within its hardcover shell lies a collection of her short stories (both fiction and non-fiction) and what radiates from the pages is nothing short of mini literary masterpieces. Marina was an extremely talented writer. It is unbelievably sad to know that her writings are now one for the history books – there will be no more.
One poignant remark made by a former literature professor of hers references a quote Marina made regarding the “death of literature”. This statement jumped from the page when I first read it and has stuck with me ever since. Marina aspired to be a professional writer, come hell or high water (or borderline starvation) she was determined to accomplish her goal. She wanted to save literature; to salvage the significance of the written word, the power of storytelling. This book is a wakeup call to all those who have clung to a personal dream but left it hanging in the back of their closet out of fear that it will never pay off enough to put food on their table or a roof over their head. Marina’s message between the lines is quite simple – do it today in case you don’t have a tomorrow.
Sadly, Marina’s tomorrow never came but her words will live on forever – and that’s powerful in it of itself.
I WILL read this one again.
Next up on the book shelf: Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell