A collection of essays and short stories by a Yale graduate whose untimely death at age 22 cut short a promising journalistic and literary career.
Keegan graduated from Yale as a literary golden girl with a position awaiting her at the New Yorker. But before she could even begin her job, she was killed in a car crash. This book brings together a sampling of some of Keegan’s fiction and nonfiction in homage to what could have been had this remarkable young woman lived to fulfill her potential. The first section brings together short stories that showcase Keegan’s ability to probe the murky, often unspoken emotional depths that haunt all relationships with fearlessness, lucidity and sensitivity. Not all of her fictional pieces, which focus primarily on exploring male/female and family dynamics, are equally strong. But they are always thoughtful, intelligent, and surprising and reveal a writer eager to find her literary voice by taking risks with both form and content. At their best, they are ferociously insightful. The second section includes essays, most of which appeared in the Yale Daily News or the Yale Herald. With wit, style and verve, Keegan explores everything from her lifelong struggle with celiac disease to a day in the life of a professional exterminator. Her most affecting pieces, however, are about the members of her own generation, many of whom feel strong, sometimes-overwhelming social pressure to seek validation in well-paying but unfulfilling jobs. “We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility,” she writes, “because in the end, it’s all we have.” As humane as it is sympathetic, Keegan’s work is a poignantly inspiring reminder of what is possible in the pursuit of dreams.
A well-deserved tribute to a talented young writer.