The Simile Museum

“In her mind, she had ridden the Shimonoseki ferry, the Osaka train, and even the trolley that could outpace a boy running or cycling. As cars drove past them, she marveled that they did look like metal bulls on wheels, which was what Hansu had called them. She was a country girl, but she had heard of all these things. Yet she could not let on that she knew of uniformed ticket collectors, immigration officers, porters, and of trolleys, electric lamps, kerosene stoves, and telephones, so at the trolley stop, Sunja remained quiet and still like a seedling sprouting from new soil, upright and open to collect the light. She would have uprooted herself to have seen the world with him, and now she was seeing it without him.”

-Min Jin Lee


“Outdoor meetings in America are rare, their atmosphere always surcharged with impending clashes between the audience and the police. Not so in England. Here the right to assemble constantly in the open is an institution. It has become a British habit, like bacon for breakfast.”

-Emma Goldman


“His presence is like an alarm clock that never stops ringing.”

-Nell Zink

“She had laid the headboard down flat near the flowerbeds that bordered the house, with the side rails below it and the slats to either side in neat rows, like ribs. It was as if the bed had drawn a deep breath and then gracefully flattened itself into the grass.”

-Celeste Ng

“The house felt almost as much like a ship as a house. Placed there to ride out storms, it was built into the island as though it were part of it; but you saw the sea from all the windows and there was good cross ventilation so that you slept cool on the hottest nights. The house was painted white to be cool in the summer and it could be seen from a long way out in the Gulf Stream.”

-Ernest Hemingway


“Our twelve years of friendship made silence soft and easy between us, though it wasn’t the passage of time that had created this intimacy. It had somehow been there immediately, this mysterious closeness, as innate as an organ.”

-Catherine Lacey

“A cloud of intense literary ambition hung over the house like a stormy little micro-climate. “

-Claire Dederer