Days after graduating from Yale University, writer and 22-year-old Marina Keegan died in a tragic car accident. This book is a collection of short stories written by Keegan in her college years, including both fiction and nonfiction essays, along with a few lines of poetry. The assortment of writing begins with Marina Keegan’s commencement address “The Opposite of Loneliness,” written for Yale’s 2012 graduating class and distributed only days before Keegan’s death. The essay directly addresses the universal notion of loneliness and how college graduates should strive to negate loneliness in their futures and work toward hope and love. The address concludes with Keegan’s statement, “We’re in this together, 2012. Let’s make something happen to this world.”
The remaining pages of Keegan’s book hold a strong assortment of fiction and nonfiction essays surrounding a multitude of themes, some of which include estranged relationships, environmental issues, nostalgic memories and more. Many of the short stories incorporate the thoughts and emotions one has in their early twenties, when they are right at the cusp of truly starting their lives and careers. Reading The Opposite of Loneliness is the definition of a bittersweet experience. Keegan truly masters voice and style within her writing, while maintaining relatable and spiritually uplifting content for readers of all ages, especially young adults. Marina Keegan’s words force readers to look at the world in a whole new way, wondering what marks they may leave behind as well. However, the work also brings on a great deal of sadness, knowing that this is all we have left of such a beautiful and promising writer.Although The Opposite of Loneliness leaves readers wanting more, it is essential to recognize how lucky we are to have pieces of Marina Keegan’s work, no matter how brief. Through her short life here on earth, Keegan left behind a powerful legacy with this short collection of writing. Lovers of literature must not miss the wisdom she has to share through The Opposite of Loneliness.
Amy Donovan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org