Marina Keegan

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Marina Keegan
Born Marina Evelyn Keegan
(1989-10-25)October 25, 1989
Boston, Massachusetts
Died May 26, 2012(2012-05-26) (aged 22)
Cape Cod
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Alma mater Yale University

Marina Evelyn Keegan (October 25, 1989 – May 26, 2012)[1] was an American author, playwright, and journalist. She is best known for her essay "The Opposite of Loneliness,"[2] which went viral and was viewed over 1.4 million times in ninety-eight different countries after her death in a car crash just five days after she graduated magna cum laude from Yale University.[3]


Keegan was born in Boston and raised in the suburb of Wayland, Massachusetts. She attended Buckingham Browne & Nichols in Cambridge before matriculating to Yale University in the autumn of 2008.[4] At Yale, Keegan majored in English and served as president of the Yale College Democrats during her junior year.[5] She was to begin a job at The New Yorker following her graduation from Yale,[6] but died in a car crash on Cape Cod, only five days after the graduation ceremony.[7]

The Opposite of Loneliness[edit]

A collection of Keegan's works, both fiction and non-fiction, was published posthumously by Scribner on April 8, 2014.[8] The book is named after her graduation essay and features an introduction by the American author Anne Fadiman, who was one of Keegan's professors at Yale. "The Opposite of Loneliness" was well received and quickly became a New York Times bestseller. The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof dedicated a column to the book, hailing it "a triumph" and urging readers to reflect on what they really want from life.[9] Positive reviews of the text have been garnered from the Chicago Tribune,[10] the Boston Globe,[11] and the Financial Times,[12] among many others.

Other works[edit]

"Even Artichokes Have Doubts"[edit]

On September 30, 2011, Keegan published an essay in the Yale Daily News entitled "Even Artichokes Have Doubts," lamenting the high percentage of graduates who enter into the fields of finance and consulting.[13] The piece captured the attention of author Kevin Roose, who worked for the New York Times’ financial website DealBook at the time. Roose contacted Keegan and asked her to adapt her essay for DealBook, which published her piece as "Another View: The Science and Strategy of College Recruiting" on November 9, 2011.[14] Roose reports that it was DealBook’s "best-performing post in months."[15] He went on to feature Keegan in his book Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits (2014), and dedicated it to her memory. Keegan also appeared on National Public Radio's All Things Considered to discuss the piece.[16]

"Why We Care About Whales"[edit]

In September, 2009, Keegan published an essay in the Yale Daily News entitled "Why We Care About Whales," considering the inconsistencies of empathy. The essay has been anthologized in The Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose. [17]


The musical Independents, for which Keegan had written the book, debuted at the New York International Fringe Festival in August 2012. It was one of twelve works - out of nearly two hundred - that was selected for an encore series in September.[18]

Utility Monster[edit]

Keegan's play Utility Monster premiered at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors' Theater on Cape Cod on May 25, 2013. The play follows two fifteen-year-olds struggling with ideas of privilege and social responsibility.[19]

"Cold Pastoral"[edit]

This short story was published by the New Yorker on September 27, 2012.[20] It also appears in the book The Opposite of Loneliness.

"Reading Aloud"[edit]

"Reading Aloud" was read by Rita Wolf on NPR's Selected Shorts program on September 11, 2011.[21]


  1. ^ "Marina Keegan, Journalist and Playwright, Dies at 22". The New York Times. May 29, 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "KEEGAN: The Opposite of Loneliness". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "What’s the Word for ‘The Opposite of Loneliness’?". Maria Shriver. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Marina Keegan ’08: A young alumna who "made something happen to this world"". Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Keegan ’12 remembered for writing, activism". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Cold Pastoral". The New Yorker. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Cape Cod car crash kills recent Yale University graduate, Marina Keegan". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  8. ^ The Opposite of Loneliness (New York, 2014)
  9. ^ The column also featured The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change (2014), by Adam Braun.
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