The Simile Museum

Category: Fiction


“Here was a man who’d learned to write before he could think, a man who threw out logical fallacies like tacks behind a getaway car, and he always got away.”

– Helen DeWitt

“Linda was just born when I had my first miscarriage, and for a while, six months maybe, the sight of those two babies, whom I had loved and cared for with real interest and satisfaction, affected me like poison.”

-Jane Smiley

“The last vestige of my personality was my terror of my personality’s dissolution, so I clung to it desperately, climbed it like a rope ladder back into my body.”

-Ben Lerner

“I could see that Louise was perplexed by all this. She had been warned of the damp, but nothing had prepared her for those lumps of bodies, or for the empty sky. At four o’clock every day the sun appeared. It hung over the northwest horizon for a few minutes, like a malediction, and then it vanished and the city sank into the night.”

-Mavis Gallant

“She had a head full of thick black hair, and a thin face, pale as sugar — a pretty girl. So pretty, in fact, that you didn’t notice right off that she was missing an arm.

-Wells Tower

“But the beach is standing still today. Everyone on it is tranquilized, numb, or asleep. Teenaged girls rub coconut oil on each other’s hard-to-reach places. They smell like macaroons. They pry open compacts like clamshells; mirrors catch the sun and throw a spray of white rays across glazed shoulders. The girls arrange their wet hair with silk flowers they way they learned in Seventeen. They pose.

-Amy Hempel

“I kissed her. Her eyes were shining up at me like two blue stars. It was like being in church.”

-James M. Cain

“She had icicles dangling off her yarn hair; her large fingers nearly were frozen, like links of meat one might keep in the freezer.”

-Kate Bernheimer

“She was so evidently the victim of the civilization which had produced her, that the links of her bracelet seemed like manacles chaining her to her fate.”

-Edith Wharton

“Sprawled near Brother, his flame-red tongue hidden from them, his indigo face closed, Sixo slept through dinner like a corpse.”

-Toni Morrison