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Read IN BED: The Opposite of Loneliness

Words & Images by Hannah-Rose Yee

“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did I could say that’s what I want in life.” – Marina Keegan, The Opposite of Loneliness

I remember when I first heard about Marina Keegan. We were the same age – the same age! – when the writer and Yale graduate was killed in a car crash just five days after graduation. She was about to start working at The New Yorker, she had just published an essay called ‘The Opposite of Loneliness’ that my mum had sent me to read because she knew I was worried about what I was going to do after uni. “We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time,” she wrote. And then she was gone.

Out of this tragedy has come a stunning collection of Marina’s accomplished, clear-eyed, just so true writing. It hurts me to read it because we have the same dreams, the same hopes, the same stars in our eyes. We do the same things in our writing – we use too many conjunctions and repeat too many things. Her sentences go on forever. So do mine. We were the same age (!). It gave me chills to read this book and yet I read it in one sitting, cover to cover, because I had to. Because she understood. And she understood so well. She was only twenty-two, but she got it. Some people look to Lena Dunham as a voice of a generation, I look to Marina Keegan.