The figurative language of Kristin Kimball

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 similes and metaphors from Kristin Kimball…

When I heard about a memoir telling the story of a Manhattan-based writer who left her job to become a farmer — yes, farmer— I knew I wanted to read that book.

The Dirty Life — subtitled A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love — by Kristin Kimball did not disappoint. A spritely and charming read, the book describes how Kimball initially interviewed the man who would become her husband and became entranced both my him and the notion of farming.

The book chronicles the couple’s meeting and their first year on Essex Farm, New York. Along the way, Kirstin Kimball displays a particular flair for simile. Here are my favourite examples:

  • The July sun stung like a slap on the face and raised up around us the sharp, resinous smell of tomato.
  • It’s hard to shock a New Yorker, but that hat parted the midtown crowd like a shark’s fin, causing pedestrian pileups as people stopped to stare.
  • By seven, as people began emerging from bedrooms I search of coffee, he was cooking his heart out, six dishes going at once, food flying around him like wood chips around a chain saw.
  • Pieces of metal had collected around the buildings like sand on a reef.
  • [An auction] is a party, a casino, a circus, or a concert, and the auctioneer is its host, its ringmaster, its conductor.
  • [The fox’s] fur looked as though she had just had it washed, conditioned, and blown out at the salon.
  • His love and his commitment never wavered, even though mine seemed to go up and down like an EKG.
  • I’d grabbed the little electric mower my parents had given us and made an attempt to cut [the lawn], but by then the grass had grown so rank it was like trying to shear a sheep with nose hair clippers.
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