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

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Nonfiction, Short stories, Memoir

I remember seeing an article about Marina Keegan and feeling both jealous and in awe for her; we were just a year apart (with me being a year older than her), yet she has achieved more than I had achieved in the years that I have lived. I was so jealous knowing that she went to Yale, and then graduated as a magna cum laude, but I am also in awe seeing her hard work in achieving those achievements. More than anything, I was sad knowing that she had left this earth at the tender age of just twenty-two.

I maybe bias when I first pick this book; I was already expecting something grand from Marina Keegan when I finished reading her most acclaim essay, The Opposite of Loneliness. But then I get to read her fictions which were splendid! I can’t help but feel envious of her. The more I read her fictions, the more I felt devoid of myself; it’s as if all her stories are all about losing someone or something, and I can’t help to be even more sad and empty knowing that Marina did leave this world and left a hole for those who knew her dearly. Maybe she wrote other fictions that were not as sad and dark as the one published in this book, nevertheless, reading her fictions made me glad that I chose to read this book.

It’s a little bit different though when I read her non-fiction; I’m going to be blunt here, I could never write as good as her, but her way of writing non-fiction was different (obviously), in the sense that her non-fictions sometimes was too detailed and boring. It’s like she’s trying to extend the pages and the words; but even so I still manage to liked it anyways, especially the last essay, Song for the Special.

I felt that reading this book as the first book in 2015, especially during my stay in a foreign land for my Master degree, was the right choice. Here I am living in a foreign land and dreading the days until I’m back home, I felt alone at times and lost. As I flip the pages reading Marina Keegan’s work and thoughts, I felt embarrassed, envious, calm, and probably confident. I felt like things are going to go for the better, I don’t know why.

I would totally recommend this book to all my fellow friends, if not for the content of the book, at least for a little reminder that we can also make an impact in this world, little as it may; leave your footprint in this world.


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