The figurative language of Brit Bennett…

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of similes from American author Brit Bennett…

Brit Bennett (pictured above) was born and raised in Southern California and graduated from Stanford University. Later, she earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan. Despite her youth (she’s younger than 35) she has already won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction and the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers. And as if those awards weren’t enough, her work has been featured in The New YorkerThe New York Times Magazine, and The Paris Review.

I’m not a fan of most chick lit but something caused me to pick up her bestselling novel The Mothers from my local library and while I didn’t enjoy the plot — which focused on teen pregnancy — I was impressed by her use of figurative language. Here are the similes I liked best:

  • “I work here,” he said, then laughed, but his laugh sounded hard, like a chair suddenly scraped against the floor.
  • She licked cinnamon sugar off her fingers sun-heavy and happy, the type of happiness that before might have felt ordinary, but now seemed fragile, like if she stood too quickly, it might slide off her shoulders and break.
  • The sky was filmy and light, like lavender silk rippling above her.
  • In his startled eyes, she felt like a sliver of herself, like an ice cube passed around inside a mouth until it hollowed into a slender crescent.