Yesterday Was Marina Keegan Day in the Boston Globe

April 9, 2014

Through some marvelous coincidence/confluence/coordinance (is that even a word?), two – count ’em, two – pieces about Marina Keegan’s book The Opposite of Loneliness ran in yesterday’s Boston Globe.

Start with Joseph P. Kahn’s Page One feature.

Her young life is lost, but her words are for posterity




Book collects writings of crash victim Marina Keegan


WAYLAND — Her young life ended two years ago in a tragic car accident five days after her college graduation. Her commencement essay in the Yale campus newspaper quickly went viral, drawing more than 1.4 million views. In an outpouring of tributes to the 22-year-old writer, many hailed her as the “voice of her generation.”

Now comes a collection of Marina Keegan’s essays and stories, being published this week by Scribner. Titled “The Opposite of Loneliness,” after the essay that brought Keegan worldwide attention, it marks a bittersweet milestone for the author’s family, friends, and academic mentors, all of whom have struggled with her loss.

And yet, they say, what a gift Keegan has left behind. Not only in her written words — she also wrote plays, poetry, and literary criticism — but also in her legacy of social activism and fierce belief in leading a life of purpose, not privilege. That was the challenge laid down to her Yale University classmates in “Loneliness,” and it has powerfully resonated ever since, according to many close to Keegan.


It certainly resonated with the same day’s G section of the Globe, which featured this piece by Sophie Flack.

A keen collection of stories from a light that dimmed too soon

When Marina Keegan wasn’t tapped to join one of Yale’s secret societies, she gave herself less than two hours to wallow in TheOppositeofLonelinessbyMarinaKeegandisappointment, then pledged to spend the time she would have spent “chatting in a tomb” writing a book. Five days after graduation, Keegan was killed in a car accident on Cape Cod. She was 22.

“The Opposite of Loneliness” is a record of that time better spent. The book of nine short stories and nine essays takes its title from Keegan’s last essay to appear in the Yale Daily News, which went viral in the days after her death when it was read by 1.4 million people in 98 countries. In it Keegan writes with an eerie urgency: “We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.”


In yesterday’s Boston Globe, at least, Marina Keegan had a lot of possibilities.


Merry Christmas Carroll!

December 25, 2013

From our One Town, Two Places desk

The local dailies published their traditional year-end poems yesterday, and they couldn’t be more different.

First up, the Boston Globe’s annual holidays card to readers, in verse compliments of Joseph P. Kahn.

Greetings of the season, all.

In setting up this conference call

To wish you cheer these holidays

We pray beseech the N.S.A.24poem

To please refrain from scooping data.

(OK, we’ll talk. But maybe later?)

For feeling in the yuletide mood

Our disposition’s not improved

With thoughts of clandestine surveillance

By Santa-suited federal agents.

We’d much prefer the privacy

Of carols trilled around the tree,

Children’s laughter in the air,

Stockings hung with affordable care,

Missives filled with peace and love

And swift access to


And Kahn is off to the races.

Crosstown, the Boston Herald delivers its annual words of good cheer compliments of Track Gal Gayle Fee.

‘Twas the night before Christmas

And on the Fast Track,

Not a creature was stirring

They were all in the sack.

The Track Shack was cluttered

122413TrackToon13With our worn-out Jimmy Choos.

We’d taken them off.

It was time for a snooze.

The Tracklets were nestled

All snug in their beds,

While visions of iPads

Danced in their heads.

The Track was curled up

In our jammies so snug.

After a whole year of gossip,

We were resting our tongues!


Until they weren’t.

What’s interesting is how little intersection there is in the two ditties.

The feisty local tabloid devotes six stanzas to Boston sports; the stately local broadsheet, just this:

First, pour a whiskey, single-barrel,

For all the hirsute Sons of Farrell:

Pedey, Papi, Daniel Nava,

Closer Koji Uehara.

Salud to bullpen cop Steve Horgan,

Donna Tartt, and Freeman, Morgan.


Name-dropping in the Herald: Kim Kardashian, the Wahlbergs, Ben Affleck, Whitey Bulger.

Name-dropping in the Globe:

Among pals we’ve wrapped presents for

Are Chiwetel Ejiofor,

Ivan Klima, Omar Sy,

And brave Malala Yousafzai.

Wassail to you, Jennifer F. Boylan,

Mark Pollock, Ben Cherington,

Mireille Enos, Janet Yellen

And ageless Sir Ian McKellen.


Finally, references to crosstown rivals.


He filled all the stockings,

Winked and pulled on a lobe.

“All the good stuff’s for the Herald.

Coal for John Henry’s Globe!”



What crosstown rival?

And then there’s this from the hardreading staff:

Merry Christmas!

(Bill O’Reilly, eat your heart out.)

P.S. Family lore has it that my old man wanted to name his first-born Mary Christmas Carroll. Cooler heads (read: Jackie’s Agnes) prevailed.

No Sendoff for Seamus Heaney in Boston Herald

September 1, 2013

The great Seamus Heaney, considered by Robert Lowell the finest Irish poet since William Butler Yeats, died this week at age 74.

The Boston Globe gave him a front-page below the fold appreciation by Kevin Cullen . . .


Screen Shot 2013-09-01 at 12.44.29 AM


. . . and a major obituary by Joseph P. Kahn.


Screen Shot 2013-09-01 at 12.45.43 AM


Not to mention this Globe ave-atque-editorial:


Screen Shot 2013-09-01 at 12.47.49 AM


(Meanwhile, the Globe’s still-kissin’-cousin New York Times ran a Margalit Fox above-the-fold obit, along with this appraisal by Michiko Kakutani.)

The Boston Herald?

Ran nothing.

The hard reading staff will check out the Sunday Herald, but we’re cautiously pessimistic.


Herald’s Joe Fitz Kisses Phoenix Goodbye

March 18, 2013

From our Late to the (Going Away) Party desk

Last week the Boston Phoenix got its front-page Ave atque Vale from the Boston Globe’s Joseph P. Kahn. (It also got a mournful editorial and this spiffy op-ed by ex-intern Joe Keohane, among other coverage.)

The Boston Herald? A whopping five paragraphs.

Until Saturday, that is. And from the unlikeliest of sources: Columnist Joe Fitzgerald, who notes the anomaly straight off.

DSC_8269.JPGWhen a newspaper dies, we all lose

You can add this column to the list of mourners now grieving the passing of the Boston Phoenix, even though its publisher, Steve Mindich, made no bones about his disdain for this writer.

The feeling was mutual, but that’s not what this is about.

It’s bigger than that.

You may question the objectivity of this observation, considering its biased source, but nothing serves a community the way a newspaper does.

It’s informative, annoying, provocative and vigilant, constantly stirring the pot of civic awareness, constantly poking at apathy, or at least that’s what it’s supposed to do, and the Phoenix did it well.


Fitzgerald adds that the Phoenix was also radical, rude, and impertinent, not to mention prone to “push[ing] the boundaries of good taste.”

Of course, leave off the “radical” and you have a pretty good description of the Herald as well. Not to get technical about it.

Regardless, it was good of Fitzgerald to send the Phoenix off.