The figurative language of Zoe Whittall….

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 metaphors from Zoe Whittall….

It apparently took Zoe Whittall (pictured above) some six years to write the novel The Best Kind of People.  “I have more fear about this book than any other book, in terms of how it will be read and received,” she said in an interview with Canadian literary publication Quill & Quire. I found the story of a man arrested for sexual impropriety — and the impact this arrest has on his family — to be unevenly written and a bit too much like a “movie of the week.”

Still, I found some of her figurative language compelling and it didn’t surprise me to learn that she is also a poet. Here are the images I appreciated most:

  • Red and blue flashed through the open windows, a light show for the symphony of cicadas.
  • Clara, her angular face smudged with raccooned eyeliner, her slat-and-pepper bob slightly askew, pulled her older sister into a hug.
  • She draped a long black coat over the living room couch and it slid to the floor like liquid.
  • The walls were painted various shades of white and beige, the carpets a thick grey or ivory, the pale colour of dust and absence.


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