The figurative language of Marni Jackson…

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 couple of similes from Marni Jackson….

Marni Jackson (pictured above) is  a Toronto-based journalist who has won many National Magazine Awards for her writing, and she’s also the author of three nonfiction books, including the excellent The Mother Zone. Recently, however, she has dipped her toes in the pool of fiction and produced a collection of short stories titled Don’t I Know You.

I’m not usually a huge fan of short stories (unless, of course, the writer is Alice Munro), but Jackson’s book leapt off the library shelf at me and I read it over Christmas. I found it well written and engaging with pockets of very fine figurative writing. Here are three of the images she used — the first two similes, the latter one a metaphor — that most appealed to me:

  • All day long on the ride across Crete the sky had been perfectly blue and empty, as if clouds were some British invention that didn’t work here.
  • That’s why now, in the rehearsal, the sound of Neil’s voice wraps around his heart like a lasso.
  • There was a formal kindness about [the actor, Bill Murray]. Plus, I had only seen him on TV a few times, not enough to be star-struck or tongue-tied. He was no star, yet. Just as I was no writer. We were still in the lobby of our lives.
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