Our 50th Year Icon

Although The Sun had already released three books of material from its pages, The Mysterious Life of the Heart, released in February 2009, was the first to be centered on a theme: romantic love.

That’s not to suggest we are some kind of authorities on the subject. Our editor, Sy Safransky, wrote in the introduction, “If you took everything I’ve learned about love and dropped it in the ocean, there would be a little splash, and there would still be room for an ocean.” Nonetheless, readers found much to enjoy in the fifty essays, stories, and poems by such authors as Cheryl Strayed, Steve Almond, Poe Ballantine, and Tess Gallagher. Nicole Blaisdell’s cover photo of a couple dancing together, wineglass in hand, captured the intimacy of the writing inside. One reader, Lori Chamberlin, wrote us to say, “I was so enraptured by your newest anthology . . . that I read not only the bios at the end but the back cover, the spine, and the copyright information.”

The anthology was a significant undertaking for a small staff still responsible for putting out a monthly magazine. Editors sifted through hundreds of pieces about passionate love affairs, unrequited declarations, late-night hookups, decades-long marriages, bitter divorces — all the things that knock your feet out from under you. Safransky covered the floor of his office with printouts of the chosen manuscripts, struggling to determine the sequence. The work wasn’t in vain. Though now out of print, The Mysterious Life of the Heart went on to be our best-selling book.

A limited number of copies are available for purchase here.