Rating 5 Stars
Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at The New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.
Marina left behind a rich, deeply expansive trove of writing that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. Her short story “Cold Pastoral” was published on NewYorker.com. Her essay “Even Artichokes Have Doubts” was excerpted in the Financial Times, and her book was the focus of a Nicholas Kristof column in The New York Times. Millions of her contemporaries have responded to her work on social media.
At first I wasn’t really feeling her writing style; I was really interested in it since it’s one of the most praised qualities about the book, but as I was progressing with each story, I was liking it more and more, by the end of it I was in love with her writing, it was truly impeccable and fresh and young, though some might say a bit pretentious, I felt it was really balanced. The stories were exciting, full of emotion, realistic characters, great narrative. My favorite non-fiction were I Kill For Money, The Opposite of Loneliness; and Hail, Full of Grace, and Challenger Deep were my favorite fiction stories. These are some passages I really liked of each one.
The Opposite of Loneliness
“What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating from college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, is all we have.”
Hail, Full of Grace
“Emma had her tiny hand wrapped around my finger. I pressed her against me until the song had ended. Until the dust started falling like snow and I could feel her tiny breath on my neck. My daughter, I thought, was not twenty-two and home from some college with a family I didn’t know. She was breathing against my chest as the pews sank and rose.”
“The hours blured as out food box emptied, but I never stopped dreaming black dreams. Sometimes, when the Captain was at the controls or Lev was asleep, I’d climb into the sail and stare through. I closed my eyes and saw stars but the jelly fish never came.”