The figurative language of Jean Kyoung Frazier…

Reading time: About 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 Jean Kyoung Frazier…

I like reading debut novels. While they are usually flawed, they often spark with little shards of brightness.

Such is the case with Jean Kyoung Frazier’s novel Pizza Girl. I can’t remember who recommended it to me, but any book that draws a dust-jacket blurb from Richard Ford gets my attention. Here is what he said about the book:

“To Pizza Girl, Jean Kyoung Frazier brings a flawless ear for language, great inventiveness, unfailing intelligence and empathy, and best of all a rare and shimmering wit. This novel has immense appeal.”

Here are my favourite examples of Frazier’s superb figurative language:

  • As I lay in bed every night it felt like an invisible hippo was sitting on my chest, and I couldn’t help but think: I am wasting my life.
  • I could never understand how people were able to start conversations out of thin air and keep them moving and breathing.
  • Baseballs [were] being thrown against my body, bruises blooming like deadly flowers beneath my skin.
  • The lines of Mom’s face. She looked every year of her age and more. Her hair already had streaks of gray. She could name all of them after me.
  • He stood behind Jenny and Adam, his hands resting on their shoulders like large, napping seals.
  • I think about life as one big Laundromat and some people just have one little bag to do — it’ll only take them a quick cycle to get through— but others they have bags and bags of it.
  • Jenny’s street was empty and quiet. Like in her old neighborhood, the houses were so big I didn’t understand what all the extra space was used for, the lawns green and trimmed tight, the sidewalks probably safer to eat off than the plates of some restaurants I’ve been to.
  • I realized how avoidance was the most attention you could give something.
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