The Simile Museum

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“I still remembered the moment they first arrived, their spaceships burning the atmosphere like comets, like falling angels, and how we’d surrounded the ships in horror, aiming for their thin legs with anything we could find, because the rest of their bodies were armored but the legs snapped like pencils.”

-Brenda Peynado

“I identified the flaws, the weaknesses of my characters–and exploited them–like a thumb digging into the rotten spot of an apple.”

-Benjamin Percy

“But I couldn’t hear what he was saying, and I still couldn’t make out the words when smoke rose around him and he stood holding a giant seashell the size of a baseball glove filled with tobacco and this long, thick, bushy thing I’d later learn was sage that burned and smelled calm, like salt water.”

-Morgan Talty

“I feel an invisibility / like a neutron in a cloud chamber buried in a mile-long / accelerator, where what cannot / be seen is inferred by what the visible / does.”

-Sharon Olds

“The rain lightened, and then turned to gravelly pellets of ice. It began to patter his windshield like the taps of someone trying to get his attention.”

-Rachel Kushner

“Her hands are neatly folded, like two birds, in the shallow dip of her lap.”

-Julie Otsuka

“Hazel’s mom has a cloud of pale hair that she burns dry every morning. Whenever Hazel meets her focus, her frown springs into a grin. The grin is toothy and tight, like a sad shark that smiles only because of its anatomy.”

-Lydia Conklin

“When I woke, my joints had tightened like screws.”

-Tessa Yang

“She knew that she carried the sins of her parents and grandparents around in her blood, something parasitic living there against her will. Their mistakes were inside of her, like the rings of a felled tree.”

-Megan Mayhew Bergman

“Patches of overgrown grass resembled a comb-over on the head of a bald person who didn’t want to see reality.”

-Elif Batuman