new books april 2014

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The Opposite of Loneliness

By Marina Keegan
240 pages; Scribner

Marina Keegan graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012 with everything to live for. She was an essayist and fiction writer who'd already been published. She'd landed a position at The New Yorker and was set to begin work in June. She'd even co-written a musical that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival. She was an idealist and activist who, in her final article for the Yale Daily News, had reveled in being young and having so much time ahead of her, and in the sense of belonging she felt with her fellow students: "It's not quite love, and it's not quite community; it's just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team." In other words, "the opposite of loneliness."

Just days after graduation, Keegan's boyfriend was driving them to her father's birthday celebration when he lost control of the car; Keegan didn't survive the crash. The Opposite of Loneliness (Scribner) is a posthumous collection of her fiction and nonfiction pieces, and it sparkles with talent, humanity, and youth. The prose, polished but thoroughly unselfconscious, is heartbreaking evidence of what could have been.
— Leigh Haber
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