Issue 373 | The Sun Magazine

January 2007

Readers Write

Nothing To Lose

Early-onset Alzheimer’s, a nonmonogamous relationship, an upright piano

By Our Readers


The family seems to have two predominant functions: to provide warmth and love in time of need and to drive each other insane.

Donald G. Smith

The Sun Interview

The Myth Of Tough Love

Maia Szalavitz On The Epidemic Abuses Of The Teen-Help Industry

The research is very clear: In the vast majority of cases, keeping children within the family and community is far more effective than sending them away. The exception would be a teen with a genuine acute addiction or psychiatric problem — which is not the same as a “behavior problem.” For psychiatric disorders and true addictions, there are professional, licensed treatment centers. Are they accessible to everybody? No. They are expensive, and insurance often won’t cover them. But the same is true of tough-love programs, and if you’re going to spend thousands of dollars on treatment for your child, I recommend you spend it on a program that has demonstrable evidence of its effectiveness, as opposed to one that probably won’t help and may harm.

By Marc Polonsky
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

My Friend And Bruce Springsteen

Sitting in the center of the concert floor, we sang and clapped, but, as much fun as we were having, we were still waiting for proof of Steve’s story. As it turned out, we didn’t have to wait long. Midway through the concert, Springsteen leaned into the microphone and dedicated the next song to his new friend Steve.

By Jane Schapiro
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


She nodded a greeting to my husband and me, and then her gaze landed on the baby in my lap. Her hands came together in a loud clap that silenced our polite chatter, and she began to chant to my son in rhyming Spanish. He froze, his eyes widening to the size of quarters as she swept him from my arms.

By Krista Bremer
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Incredible Hulk Saving Souls

My father thought men who talked about being “saved” were weak, even feminine. Religion was the domain of women; he was too busy farming and working at the ceiling-tile factory to concern himself with salvation. My mother prayed and talked to me about God behind his back.

By Doug Crandell
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Seed

The ultimate consequence of my time in the Seed was an overwhelming self-disgust that lingered for years. Everything seemed a mockery of itself. I fundamentally doubted the authenticity of any conviction — my own or someone else’s. I had acquiesced and adopted the Seed’s judgment for a time, and I could not easily disown it.

By Marc Polonsky
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Thousand Elephants

This is The Sun’s thirty-third anniversary issue. How grateful I am that this improbable dream continues; that my ardor for the work is undiminished. I’m married to The Sun, I expect, till death do us part.

By Sy Safransky

What Are You Waiting For?

You wake to the sound of Dixon’s voice: “I forgot to meet the bus. She’s not there; she’s not here. Do you know where she is?”

By Athena Stevens