More than four months after her death, Marina Keegan’s ’12 prose continues to live on.
On Friday, the New Yorker published “Cold Pastoral,” a short story by Keegan, the prolific Yale writer who died in a car crash near Dennis, Mass. over the summer.
In the first paragraph of “Cold Pastoral,” the reader hears from the narrator, Claire, who is — slowly and with a familiar strain of youthful ebullience — falling in love with her boyfriend, Brian.
“Brian was handsome and smoked the same amount as me,” Claire tells the reader, “and, sometimes, in the morning, I’d wake up and smile first thing because he made me feel safe.”
And then, in the second paragraph of “Cold Pastoral,” Claire’s boyfriend dies— suddenly, tragically, unexpectedly. The story continues from there, telling the narrative of a woman who struggles to deal with her conflicting emotions at the hands of a sudden death.
Keegan had been slated to work for The New Yorker after graduation. In an editor’s preface to the story, which was published for the first time on Friday, the magazine’s staff noted Keegan’s incredible promise.
“That Marina was already exceptional in her accomplishments was made clear by the multitude of tributes and public expressions of grief that followed her death,” the note read. “It is also clear in the too-small body of writing she left behind, which offers a tantalizing taste of a literary voice still in development, yet already imbued with unusual insight, nuance, humor, and sensitivity.”
Keegan is also the author of “The Opposite of Loneliness,” a piece that was published last May for a special issue of the News.