The Simile Museum

“Carol was like a secret spreading through her, spreading through this house, too, like a light invisible to everyone but her.”

-Patricia Highsmith

My family was like living with cruel cats. Someone would turn as you entered a room. Oh it’s you. So I waited for the night when I could be by myself and work.”

-Eileen Myles

“At the time, a good portion of the rock music played on the radio–Imagine Dragons, Linkin Park–was so densely and fastidiously produced, so airless and unrelenting, that listening to it felt like getting whopped in the face with a snowball. ‘Boys & Girls’ suggested a different way forward:  it was not without potency, but it drifted in like a salty breeze.”

-Amanda Petrusich

“He felt the white scalloped ends of Miguel’s fingernails against his jawbone, running across the margins of him like a poem. Finding something to like, something to correct. Reading, always, with rapt sincerity.”

-Caitlin Horrocks

“Lenu and Lila define themselves through and against each other, each like a book that the other is reading, each representing an alternate story of what life might be”

-Jia Tolentino

“The man laughed and left us on the curb and went back and handed a bill to the driver in the middle of a great honking and some yelling, and then we saw the girls from the magazine moving off in a row, one cab after another, like a wedding party with nothing but bridesmaids.”

-Sylvia Plath

“Truth is, I hardly understood half of what the gold man said. I’d never seen a train, didn’t know the ocean route he spoke of, or where the workers had come from. But I understood his gold. I didn’t ask questions. He had a gold watch the size of my palm that he flicked as he talked. He was fat enough that I could cling like a tick to his wealth.”

-C Pam Zhang

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“Reva was like the pills I took. They turned everything, even hatred, even love, into fluff I could bat away. And that was exactly what I wanted–my emotions passing like headlights that shine softly through a window, sweep past me, illuminate something vaguely familiar, then fade and leave me in the dark again.”

-Ottessa Moshfegh

“And Rod snuck Poke into Minute Maid Park on an off night during the playoffs, a favor from an ex, and they walked from aisle to aisle palming the backs of every seat, mouthing the names of Astros who’d walked the field before them—Biggio, Oswalt, Peña, and Altuve—muttered like saints under their breath.”

-Bryan Washington

“He offered an explanation, speaking of his search for tiny pores in the skin of reality, like holes that worms bore into wood, and how upon finding one he was able to expand and stretch it the way a glassblower turns a dollop of molten glass into a long-necked pipe, and how he then allowed time to flow like water at one mouth while causing it to thicken like syrup at the other.”

-Ted Chiang