Friday, 2 October 2015

The Opposite of Loneliness

"I feel like we can do something really cool to this world. And I fear - at twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five - we might forget."

I first saw this book on one of those lists like '50 best Summer reads' or 'books you must read in your twenties' or something along those lines a few months ago and I screenshotted it for future reference, unaware of Marina Keegan's story. 
However, it wasn't until a month or two later when my friend was telling me about this new book she was reading and was filling me in on the author's story that it really stuck in my mind.

If you are unaware of Keegan's story then prepare to be deeply saddened. She died in a car accident in 2012, aged 22, just five days after graduating from Yale. This book is a collection of short stories and essays, curated by her loved ones in order to share her remarkable talent with the world. 
After reading this book I can honestly say that Keegan has one of the most engaging, authentic and thought-provoking writing styles I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. She perfectly represents our generation and I cannot think of another young author who does so in such a way. Reading this book I struggle to believe it is her only published work as she writes with the confidence and truth of an established author.

A lot of what Keegan writes really strikes a chord with me. A lot of it has to do with the fact that we have shared similar experiences and I am at the same stage in life as she was when she wrote many of her stories, particularly the non-fiction. There are many many parallels between her life and mine and her stories truly touched my soul in a way I have never experienced before. Even as I write this I am feeling rather emotional. I have goosebumps.

No book I have read has made me feel so alive. As you make your way through each story her lyrical style makes you contemplate your own life as well as humanity on a much larger scale. It has made me extremely grateful for my own privileges as well as extremely saddened that her life ended so shortly.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, but particularly to people in their early twenties and those who are at the end of their time at university or school and entering a new chapter in their life. Without a shadow of a doubt I have found this book to be life-changing. As I was reading this book, I was going through a very challenging time in my life and it really gave me perspective. 

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