The Opposite of Loneliness

Essays and stories by Marina Keegan

presented by

ANNE FADIMAN
RATNA GILL
LUKE VARGAS

This event includes a book signing

Date

May
2
Friday
May 2, 2014
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes ANNE FADIMAN, RATNA GILL, LUKE VARGAS, and the family of Marina Keegan for a reading and discussion of Keegan's posthumously published The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories.

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 International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord.

Even though she was just twenty-two when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assem­blage of Marina’s essays and stories that, like The Last Lecture, articulates the universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.

"Many of my students sound forty years old. They are articulate but derivative, their own voices muffled by their desire to skip over their current age and experience, which they fear trivial, and land on some version of polished adulthood without passing Go. Marina was twenty-one and sounded twenty-one: a brainy twenty-one, a twenty-one who knew her way around the English language, a twenty-one who understood that there were few better subjects than being young and uncertain and starry-eyed and frustrated and hopeful. When she read her work aloud around our seminar table, it would make us snort with laughter, and then it would turn on a dime and break our hearts." —Anne Fadiman, Yale University Professor of English and author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down and Ex Libris

Note on the book signing: Copies of The Opposite of Loneliness will be signed by Anne Fadiman, author of the introduction, and Marina Keegan's parents. 

Anne Fadiman
Anne Fadiman

Anne Fadiman

Anne Fadiman is the author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Salon Book Award. She is also the author of two essay collections, At Large and At Small and Ex Libris, and the editor of Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love. Her essays and articles have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The New Yorker, and The New York Times, among other publications. She is the Francis Writer-in-Residence at Yale.


Luke Vargas
Luke Vargas

Luke Vargas

Marina and Luke Vargas became friends in high school, at a time when they were both involved in the 2008 presidential campaign. Although they attended different colleges, they stayed very close. When Marina was awarded research funding from Yale in the summer of 2010, she cleverly found a way to divert a portion her winnings to pay Luke’s way to India, where they spent a summer studying the spread of humanism. Luke currently lives in Brooklyn and works as a foreign affairs reporter based at the United Nations.

Ratna Gill
Ratna Gill

Ratna Gill

Ratna Gill is a sophomore at Harvard College who met Marina and watched her recite poetry while visiting Yale in 2011. She and Marina used to exchange messages about their writing and about college life, and Marina's words have had a huge influence on Ratna's personal written work.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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