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“The Opposite of Loneliness” is irreproachable

Marina Keegan writes with a unique quality and voice that demands to be read.  |  usatoday.com

 

Some books I read consume my days. The couch becomes my home and I only stop reading when absolutely necessary. But then there are the books that consume my life. I will walk from my car to my apartment with book in hand, head down, oblivious to what goes on around me.

The Opposite of Loneliness” by Marina Keegan is the latter.

the story of Keegan

Part of what makes Keegan’s book so intriguing is the story of Keegan herself. Five days after graduating from Yale, Marina Keegan died in a car accident. She left behind an impressive repertoire of fiction and nonfiction, a post-grad job at the “New Yorker” and a lasting impact on her college campus. But Keegan’s book is so much more than her accomplishments — it is 208 pages of beautifully composed sentences and stories.

Keegan’s voice is mature and full of talent notable at any age, not just at 22-years-old. Separated into sections of fiction and nonfiction, “The Opposite of Loneliness” is comprised of short stories and essays Keegan wrote throughout her time as a student at Yale.

rarity and worth of friendships

The book is titled after the opening piece, an article she wrote her senior year for the graduation issue of the “Yale Daily News.” Contemplating the fact that we do not have a word for the opposite of loneliness, Keegan examines what this means in her own life, particularly as a college senior rapidly approaching graduation. The article discusses the rarity and worth of true friendships, the incredible potential each person has and the necessity to never believe it is too late to be something, to do something. In short, Keegan comes to the realization that the opposite of loneliness is her experience at Yale and her place within its community.

I read “The Opposite of Loneliness” article twice before I shared it with my group of friends who are of the variety Keegan wrote of. We sat in a circle on Metzger Lawn last week as I read the article to them and when I had finished, a lull hung about — each of us realizing we had what Keegan wrote. The words of the article reflect truths for anyone on the brink of change, no matter what form it takes.

captivating and enthralling

Keegan’s book does not resonate with its reader only there, however. Every piece of fiction is captivating and enthralling with characters Keegan managed to make me care about without hesitation. Each short story is elegantly crafted and engaging, making it hard to remember you are only within this world for a limited time. The nonfiction is funny and poignant, yet sobering and wonderful. Many times I would finish a piece of Keegan’s and sit there in admiration of a girl so clearly gifted with her use of language.

Since opening up “The Opposite of Loneliness” I have not been able to keep quiet about it or put it down. This is one book I would, and have, recommended to anyone I know.

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