Remembering Marina Keegan, A Blossoming Writer03:37

This article is more than 8 years old.

We wanted to take a moment to note a tragedy that occurred over the holiday weekend. You might have heard about or experienced the traffic jam on route 6 near Dennis on the Cape Saturday.

The mile-long backups were because of an accident. Michael Gocksch, 22, drifted off the road in his 1997 Lexus and struck a guard rail. He veered back over and flipped the car, suffering serious injuries. But his passenger — his girlfriend, Wayland native Marina Keegan — died. Marina also 22.

Now that's tragic enough, but there's more. Keegan had graduated from Yale only a week earlier. She was a standout student, with a successful life ahead of her. In fact, she was on All Things Considered back in February talking about the aggressive recruiting emails she was getting from big financial firms.

"'We noticed that you didn't apply for that internship this summer. We'd love to talk to you about why. If you meet us here at this time, we will compensate you for you time with 100 dollars,'" Keegan recalled.

But Marina Keegan did not want to go into finance. She wanted to be a writer. And she was going to be. She was about to start as an editorial assistant at the New Yorker — a job at one of the world's top magazines straight out of college. She was good. Here's an excerpt from one of her short stories, it's called "Reading Aloud."

On Mondays and Wendesday at 4:30 p.m., Yenna takes off her clothes and reads to Sam. Reads him cable box directions and instant soup instructions, unpaid bills and pages from his textbooks.

Usually, Sam makes an exotic tea. [...] Both can hear its soft percolation. But only Yenna can see its cloudy, mauve whirlpool. Only Yenna can see her wilting breasts and varicose veins. So she looks at him, and he looks at nothing.

The young writer's death has garnered national media coverage over the last couple days, in part because of the tragic irony of her last published work, a column about commencement in the Yale Daily News. She wrote:

What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.

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