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What’s So Funny?

When Andrew Gleason began working at The Sun, I was immediately perturbed. In almost thirty years at the magazine I had never worked with another Andrew. A colleague suggested the newcomer could be known as Funny Andrew. That’s how I learned that Gleason did stand-up. While editing his essay in this month’s issue, “Occupation: Fool,” I learned a lot about my coworker’s past, but I wanted to find out more about his present.

By Andrew Snee, Senior Editor • May 29, 2024

Say the Hardest Thing

Cameron Dezen Hammon’s essay “Kissing Strangers in the Street” is her first publication in The Sun and is about how she experimented with witchcraft and the sexual practice of BDSM to manifest change in her life. I spoke with Cameron about her essay by video call. It was one of several conservations we had as her manuscript went through the editing stages. From our first interaction Cameron was open, inviting, and easy to talk to, which I especially appreciated since I was asking about her sex life and her religious beliefs.

By Staci Kleinmaier, Assistant Editor • March 21, 2024

Big Feelings

Mishele Maron has been employed as a professional chef and worked aboard luxury yachts that sailed the world. In her essay in this month’s issue, “Anger Management,” she writes about some of those experiences and also about working at a mental-health clinic, where she participated in group-counseling sessions for men with anger issues. When we spoke over video chat, Mishele impressed me with her nuanced understanding of emotions and her sharp analysis of the various class, gender, and other factors at work in our professional and personal relationships. We talked about her seafaring years, her older daughter’s favorite reality TV show, and why she wasn’t satisfied to vent her rage on a punching bag.

By Andrew Snee, Senior Editor • February 12, 2024

All Families

We’ve been publishing Doug Crandell in The Sun for twenty years now. I’ve been his editor that whole time, and I feel like I know him, even though we’ve met face-to-face only once. He writes with such honesty and openness, often about growing up in rural Indiana. I recently talked with Doug about how he navigated his family members’ responses to his essays about them. We also discussed writing as therapy, how Sun readers react to his work, and Halloween costumes in the seventies.

By Andrew Snee, Senior Editor • December 18, 2023

An American Disease

For ten years Anders Carlson-Wee got almost everything he needed from the trash: food, clothes, furniture, lamps. He wrote about his experiences in his essay “The Salmonella Special,” which appears in our November issue, and in his new poetry collection, Disease of Kings, released this October by W.W. Norton. When we spoke over Zoom, I asked him to tell me more about this lifestyle. We talked about capitalism, loneliness, freedom, and one of the greatest hauls of his dumpster-diving career.

By Nancy Holochwost, Associate Editor • November 9, 2023

A Game We Play

By her own admission, Leona Sevick is a latecomer to poetry. She was trained as an American literature scholar and never took a creative-writing class. We published her poem “I Eat My Words” in our October 2023 issue. Leona and I met on Zoom, and we spoke about bamboo wives, pregnancy pains, and poetic meter. At the end of our conversation she read her poem out loud, and even though I knew how it ended, I still got chills.

By Staci Kleinmaier, Assistant Editor • October 18, 2023


I caught up with Jen Silverman late this summer, after we finished the edits on “Scale,” their new short story in our October issue. Jen was a few months into returning to New York City from Japan, where they worked as a producer and writer on the Max series Tokyo Vice. Jen had just switched gears back to theater, working on the book for a new musical with the composer Dave Malloy, workshopping an upcoming new play called Spain about propaganda, and wondering how long the writers’ strike in Hollywood (which has since ended) would keep a number of other projects on hold.

By Finn Cohen, Associate Editor • October 10, 2023

Looking in a New Way

When I read Maria Kuznetsova’s story “Sandwoman,” I was immediately drawn to its offbeat tone and to the narrator’s voice, which is in turns playful, exuberant, dark, and funny. Though much of the story is fantastical, it speaks volumes about the real-life experiences of women who struggle with their physical and mental health postpartum. Maria’s imaginative and surprising perspective made me want to dig into the story’s origins when I got to talk to her.

By Nancy Holochwost, Associate Editor • August 18, 2023

Removing the Mask

As someone who was a socially awkward kid — and remains a socially awkward adult — I find a lot to identify with in John Paul Scotto’s essays. He was recently diagnosed with autism, but for most of his life he knew only that he needed to hide his true self around other people if he wanted to fit in. . . . We’re pleased to have published some of his work in The Sun, including his essay in this month’s issue: “Coach’s Kid.”

By Andrew Snee, Senior Editor • August 15, 2023

Christian Girls

As someone who grew up in Southern Baptist and nondenominational churches, I felt seen when I read Virgie Townsend’s work. “Heavenly Bodies” is an excerpt from her debut short-story chapbook, Because We Were Christian Girls. . . . Virgie’s stories capture the complexities of growing up in a strict religious setting, while also showing the friendships and nostalgia that can come from those communities.

By Anna Gazmarian, Outreach Coordinator • July 3, 2023
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