The figurative language of Anna Wiener…

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of metaphors from Anna Wiener…

There are few genres of books I enjoy more than a good memoir. So, when I heard positive reviews of Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener, I decided to give it a read.

My high expectations were rewarded. The book tells the improbable (but true) story of Anna Wiener’s transformation from Manhattan-based literary agency worker to someone who toiled in a big-data company in Silicon Valley.

Wiener also has sharp eyes and ears for similes and metaphors, particularly edgy ones. Here are my faves:

  • I had just turned twenty-five and was living on the edge of Brooklyn with a roommate I hardly knew, in an apartment filled with so much secondhand furniture it almost had a connection to history.
  • It’s not that I was a Luddite — I could point-and-click before I could read.
  • I had graduated college debt-free, by no accomplishment of my own: my parents and grandparents had saved for my tuition since I was a blur on the sonogram.
  • He had gone to art school on the East Coast and wore jeans that were so tight I felt I already knew him.
  • He sat down in one of the ergonomic desk chairs, leaned aback, and bounced lightly, like a baby.
  • We were doing well — we were always doing well. In a culture where profitability was a bragging right, we had plenty to be smug about. Our revenue graphs looked like cartoons of revenue graphs.
  • Sexism, misogyny, and objectification did not define the workplace — but they were everywhere. Like wallpaper, like air.
  • In the Panhandle, I passed a group of runners in matching startup T-shirts, trotting through the eucalyptus like a string of well-broke ponies, and I pitied them.
  • In this respect, it was not unlike book publishing: talking about doing work for money felt like screaming the safe word.