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–Daphne Gray-Grant

Most Recent Blog Post

Murdering the day in the middle of the afternoon….

Elizabeth GilbertReading time: Less than 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about the figurative language of Elizabeth Gilbert.

I was not ferocious fan of Elizabeth Gilbert’s signature book Eat, Pray Love. But I admired its (much less popular) sequel, Committed. I also found her TED talk, in which she ponders the nature of creative genius, to be deeply engaging. I even wrote a blog post about it, here.

More recently, I read her new novel, The Signature of all Things — the story of a 19th century botanical baron and his daughter — and enjoyed it immensely. I particularly appreciated Gilbert’s painstaking research and her use of figurative language.

Here are four examples of the latter that especially appealed to me:

In April, the encountered a most alarming change of weather, which blackened the sky before their eyes, murdering the day in the middle of the afternoon.

Each sentence was a crowded village of capital letters and small letters, living side by side in tight misery, crawling up on one another as though trying to escape the page.

Prudence’s nose was a little blossom; Alma’s was a growing yam.

She also loved her microscope, which felt like a magical extension of how own right eye, enabling her to peer straight down the throat of the creator Himself.

I especially like this last one, which effectively captures the power of microscopes, don’t you think?