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Opposite of Loneliness

Author : Marina Keegan

 

Storytellers Inc

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The tragic death of this talented young author should not be the USP of The Opposite of Loneliness. As well as her rousing eponymous essay that went viral, Keegan had already proved her literary chutzpah by lining up a staff job at The New Yorker. Keegan died just five days after graduating but her short body of work deserves to be read and remembered. Gathered in this collection are a selection of published and unpublished fiction and non-fiction. Youth, potential and excitement for the possibilities that life can hold pulse throughout the book, the writing is vibrant, real and bright. The fiction is snappy, sassy and smart. The best pieces make use of the world she knows personally; young people being young, conversation, remembering and looking forward, but the variety of theme and styles she covers in this small sample is impressive, linked by a sense of joy that seems to be sewn through each sentence; Keegan clearly loves to write. Similarly the most memorable pieces of her non-fiction touch on her own experiences - the crap that accumulates in her car and suffering from coeliac disease. She thinks through questions; should work be for stability or creativity? What will happen when the sun dies? Could she work in pest control? That the questions are big or small doesn’t matter, the point is that she’s asking them, writing them and celebrating exploration and communication because what matters at the end of graduation and when the sun dies and when you graduate university is that you lived. The Opposite of Loneliness is full of life, it’s overflowing - I’m going to share it with a good friend.