#WeekofReviews // The Opposite of Loneliness

9:00:00 AM

AYYY look at me keeping up with #WeekofReviews! Are you proud? You should be. I'm excited to talk about the most recent book I read: a collection of essays and stories called The Opposite of Loneliness.

The Opposite of Loneliness caught my attention not because I had heard of it before, but because it had a striking cover and a title that I couldn't stop turning over in my mind. It took me months to finally get around to reading it, but when I did, I quickly realized it was something special. 

The collection, published posthumously, is named after an essay Keegan wrote for the Yale Daily News about her graduating class. It's the first in the collection, and it swallowed me whole. I cried as I listened to her give voice to feelings that I had felt - anticipation for the future, and fear, and, at the same time, acknowledgement that we will never again have what we had in that moment. 

I rarely read published work by anyone so young, and much of Keegan's work resonates with me because of this. This collection is a snapshot of Keegan's college years, but it is also a snapshot of (for lack of a less cringe-y phrase) the millennial experience - capturing clearly what it is to be in your twenties, but specifically, what it is to be in your twenties in this time and place.

There is a variety of fiction and non-fiction in this collection, and while I loved almost all of it, I gravitated (to my great surprise) toward the non-fiction: "The Opposite of Loneliness," "Stability in Motion," "Even Artichokes Have Doubts," and "Song for the Special" are a few favorites. 

Reading this was a complex emotional experience. I was heartbroken, knowing that someone so full of fire would never get to show the world more of her writing. But I also know that it is because of her passing that this book was published, and that I probably wouldn't have read her work otherwise. 

The Opposite of Loneliness is a book I'm going to be thinking about and rereading and sharing with others. I want to shove it into the hands of my friends and say, "Look! This person has put into words this thing that I am feeling, and it has helped me to understand." It is beautiful, and it is terrible, because I will never get to tell her.

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