Whenever a review claims that a writer/poet/etc. is the “voice of our generation”, it’s already setting up that body of work to fail. How can one person’s voice embody the perspective and clarity of thousands or millions of people? It’s unfair to that particular writer and it’s unfair to the reader. These high expectations are now in place and if that writer doesn’t make room for my particular view, I wonder why that label was placed. This is what happened when I finished reading The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan.
It must be said that it has been about six months since I read this particular book. I enjoyed one or two short stories, then her essay that the title comes from was also inspiring. Many reviews and comments talked about how this gifted writer was taken from the world too soon by a car accident. I understand the tragedy. I can’t imagine graduating college only to be pulled from this universe. There is so much I want to accomplish and it reminds me how fucking short life is. But please don’t label her privileged voice as the voice of my generation!