Gillian Kendall | The Sun Magazine #2

Gillian Kendall

Gillian Kendall has been a barmaid, editorial assistant, English professor, tech writer, and parliamentary reporter. She’s called herself a feminist ever since she heard the term at Douglass College, the women’s branch of Rutgers University. The label has gotten her into a few arguments and once landed her a job at Mademoiselle. She lives in Holmes Beach, Florida.

— From December 2015
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Empty Sky

Reflections On 09.11.01

The Sun doesn’t usually report on current events, but September’s terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. marked a turning point for all of us. We put out a call to our writers, inviting them to reflect on the tragedy and its aftermath. The response was overwhelming. As word got around, we received submissions not only from regular contributors but from writers who are new to The Sun’s pages.

November 2001

Love, Michael

To me, my brother was his letters home. Even now, his lucid, correct handwriting remains more vivid in my mind than any picture.

November 2000

In Loco Parentis

For months afterward I had the sense that I was being questioned by reporters, or addressing a judge: For the record, Your Honor, the accident was not my fault. I plead not guilty. . . . And I was not in love with her!

October 1999

Dr. Harris’s Residence

I remember being alone with my father only a few times. That person, a man, my father, was the tallest human. His hair was black, and darkness covered him in long, smooth suits, which now I recognize as beautifully tailored.

September 1999

Come Rain Or Come Shine

Twenty-Five Years Of The Sun

This month marks The Sun’s twenty-fifth anniversary. As the deadline for the January issue approached — and passed — we were still debating how to commemorate the occasion in print. We didn’t want to waste space on self-congratulation, but we also didn’t think we should let the moment pass unnoticed. At the eleventh hour, we came up with an idea: we would invite longtime contributors and current and former staff members to send us their thoughts, recollections, and anecdotes about The Sun. Maybe we would get enough to fill a few pages. What we got was enough to fill the entire magazine.

January 1999
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


It took a long time, but, by the following summer, I could get in and out of my car without hyperventilating. I could walk calmly down main streets in the daytime, although I still avoided parking lots and alleys, and rarely went out alone at night.

April 1998
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Friend In America

I held the secret letter deep in my raincoat pocket as I approached the hostel warden. “Excuse me,” I said, obviously American but at least polite. “Are you busy?”

October 1997


My parents lay in long, white, woven-plastic chairs while I danced on the diving board. Behind our house was our deep in-ground pool, surrounded by grass, enclosed by a fence: how safe; how Floridian. Open sky, white patio, turquoise water slapping and chopping. And the me-girl: long legs, baby tummy, bangs in her eyes, red two-piece. “Mummy, are you looking?” I couldn’t tell. She wore dark glasses, and the sun was in my eyes. “Are you looking?”

June 1997

The World Bank

Beth kneels on the edge of the bed, re-counting her American money and finding again only five hundred-dollar bills where there had been seven. She leans over, nearly toppling off the sloping mattress, to ferret underneath the mahogany night stand, but comes up only with handfuls of dense brown dust.

January 1996

Sleepwalking To My Sister

No one knows exactly when my sister disappeared. When I think of her now, a funnel, dark and deep, opens before me, echoing back her name: Victoria.

February 1995


The first time we had Joe over, one spring evening some years ago, he lay on his gurney with his face positioned toward us.

July 1993

The Value Of Trees

The Pacific crashes into mountains here, with no introductory foothills, few beaches. Highway 1, the only north-west road in Big Sur, dips and swerves like a roller coaster. First you’re flying up in the redwoods, breathing eucalyptus and fog; straight below are tiny coves and river mouths. It’s a descent you feel in your stomach. Then you’re skimming along the beach under a kaleidoscope of sea gulls.

April 1992
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