Review: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

Literature, Reviews

The Opposite of Loneliness… Some books are like a diary. Every page is a little intrusion into the live of the author, that bares his soul before you, and thus – in some inexplicable way – touches your own. This is what this book felt like, and here’s a short review – from a closet fiction-writer.

How did I hear about The Opposite of Loneliness? In one of the strangest ways possible, when it comes to recommendations. Some months ago, I helped my dad trace down his former classmate, he hasn’t seen this woman for quite a few decades. And of all the places you can leave a trace online, I found her on … Goodreads. Some time later, she sent me a message, recommending Marina Keegan’s book.  A few extra months have gone by, before I saw the The Opposite of Loneliness in one of the bookworm hotspot of Paris, Shakespeare’s & Co.

The world will never read Marina’s latest bestseller. They won’t hear her voice or see her smile. In the memories of those who knew her, or read her book, Marina will always stay 22.  In 2012, days after graduating from Yale, Marina Keegan tragically died in a car accident. A brilliant student, Marina had a job at the New Yorker lined up, and a bright future ahead of her…Just imagine, an Ivy League magna cum laude,  Paris Review and New Yorker internships behind her back, countless essays and article, a New York Times byline at the age when most of the modern youth don’t even know what to do about their lives…

“We’re so young.We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time.”

Maybe, it’s was always meant to be one of those stories of people who marked everyone on their path, yet shone too brightly to linger in this world for too long. Marina Keegan was a prodigious writer, a young woman with one of the strongest of voice, that had to leave too soon…

The Opposite of Loneliness is a selection of Marina’s works, posthumously collected and edited by her family members, friends and teachers.  It is a testament of an immense talent, forever reflected in the works filled with youthful optimism, raw emotion and humanity. Marina writes about personal passions and love, families… I am a picky reader, and while some of Marina Keegan’s fictional efforts may not be a part of my typical reads, I have no regrets about my time whatsoever. The story that stuck with me is the submarine team, stuck miles underwater with no hopes of seeing the light of day again. The desperation, the approach of the end… Marina Keegan’s imagination truly painted life in mesmerizing colors.

As a closet writer and a journalist, in the end, all I can say is I wish I met her.

“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life. What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow and leave this place.”


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