The day is the color of pigeons…

Word count: 275 words

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

I read widely, watch movies and listen to the radio. In today’s post you’ll see an interesting piece of figurative language I’ve encountered recently, this time in a book by Junot Diaz.

I’d heard a lot of buzz about Junot Diaz. I knew he was a Dominican-American writer, a creative writing professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the fiction editor at the Boston Review. But I’d never read anything he’d written.

Then, I walked into the library last week and saw This is How You Lose Her on the “quick read” shelves. (Quick reads are popular books, available for a one week loan — as opposed to the usual three. And “overdue” fines are $1/day instead of the usual 25 cents.) It was a sign. I checked it out and read the book in a day.

I was impressed. Junot Diaz has a very distinctive and accessible voice. He also has a great eye/ear/instinct for metaphor. Here are three examples that I liked:

The mosquitoes are chewing us up like we’re the special of the day. (Page 23)

I never see the sick; they visit me through the stains and marks they leave on the sheets, the alphabet of the sick and dying. (Page 55)

The day is the color of pigeons. (Page 75)

That last one impressed me the most. Perhaps because I live a grey, rainy city, I could really relate. But I also like the succinctness of it. And the rhythm. Diaz can really write. One warning though: The book is sexually explicit so if you find that offensive, don’t read this book.

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