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 simile from Forrest Gander.
Like an unexpected guest at a dinner party, the very brief novel, As a Friend, by Forrest Gander, is a surprising read. I don’t normally like books that are so terse and sketchy but this one has captured me.
Set in the rural Southern US, the book tells the story of Les, a land surveyor. I just finished the first section, focusing on the main character’s birth. (It’s odd that such a brief book would devote so much space — 11% of it, by my calculation — to his birth.) Still, perhaps because Gander is a poet, he paints striking visual pictures with his words.
Here is his description of Les’s mother giving birth:
Gasping, she rolls to her side, worn out and huge, her protuberant navel poking like a rivet head through the thin gown.
I love that simile. When I was pregnant I can recall my own protuberant navel — I would never have thought to liken it to a rivet head, yet the comparison is absolutely perfect.