The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

26.6.14

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Like I expect many others, I first heard of Marina Keegan when the tragedy of her premature death was announced back in 2012.

Marina died five days after graduation in a fatal car crash, and her commencement essay in the Yale campus newspaper quickly went viral, drawing more than 1.4 million views.

Two years after her death the collection of Keegan's essays and stories have been released. Keegan is pictured on the cover of the book, her face immortalised forever in its striking portrait. The Opposite of Loneliness is titled for Keegan's now legendary essay, and the collection contains a selection of both fiction and non fiction pieces.

Many of Keegan's pieces deal with death, and at many times the words on the pages are a chilling precursor to her tragic fate. One short story deals with the death of a classmate, the other about the life of a car, its memories forever trapped within its walls.

I felt a profound sadness as I read the book, a sadness for what could have been achieved by such a gifted and inspirational young writer. Everyday I strive for perfection in my work and in my personal life, and reading Keegan's collected work has really reminded me that we don't need to be perfect. We need to experience life, live it to the full and spend time with those that we care about the most.

It's never too late to make your life full of meaning and joy, and I'm going to start immediately. 
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