Lisa Brennan-Jobs and figurative language

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 Lisa Brennan-Jobs….

When I read the rave reviews of Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ memoir, about her life with her father Steve Jobs, I rushed to buy her book, Small Fry. I should have waited for a library copy. Somehow, I had expected something more. Something better written. Something more insightful.

Instead, we have the portrait of a very needy girl who is treated very badly by her very famous father. In an interview with the Guardian, Brennan-Jobs says she’s not filled with self-pity, but it doesn’t read that way. Still, she is able to muster a few bits of figurative language that appealed to me:

  • The sun made lace on my legs.
  • A few leaves clung to the branches, shoots of grass like whiskers grew around the base of the trunk, with dirt clods visible between the neon blades.
  • The surface [of a trampoline] was the size of a small pool and caught light like an oil slick.
  • Fuchsia dangled from bushes in yards, stamens below a bell of petals, like women in ball gowns with purple shoes.
  • His jaw clenched on and off, making a rippling pattern in his skin, like a fish beneath the surface of a pond.
  • His voice was high, loud, and nasal, with sharp points at the end of his phrases that hurt my ears and knifed into my sternum.
  • Her bottom teeth were fine, but crowded, like too many guests mingling in a small room.
  • He was a popular sixth grader with white-blond hair, a long neck, and ears that stuck out like delicate shells.
  • The staircase looked wet, dripping down from the second floor, each level of stair opening wider than the last, like molasses poured from a jar.

An earlier version of this post first appeared on my blog on Nov. 15/18.

Scroll to Top