Sections | Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories | The Sun Magazine #1

Browse Sections

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Gift Shops of the American Wild

The Paradise Inn sits at 5,400 feet on the south slope of Mount Rainier, the highest peak in Washington State. Up here the air is thin and crisp, the colors are saturated, and every breeze carries an aroma of pine and the trill of birdsong. Even immersed in such concentrated beauty, my heart aches. For the hundredth time today I think of Jack, a fellow writer in the graduate program I recently completed. We bonded over our love of books and our homesickness for the Midwest.

By Becky Mandelbaum May 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Guardians

His inability to tell me when he’s sick, the most baseline, possibly the easiest thing to express, means he isn’t expressing a million other needs that are harder to pin down: If his shoes are too tight. If his ear hurts. Once, my son was walking funny. When I looked at his foot, he had a bee stinger sticking out from his toe. Being a parent of a disabled child means I can’t assume anything. I am taking care of his needs, and if I miss a need he can’t express, I’m failing him. I’m always failing him.

By John Vurro May 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Sex in the In-Between

He looked hardy, and, God, I’m a sucker for hardiness. Show me a pocketknife and callused hands, and I’m ready to let you feel me up. His profile had a photo of him holding a giant golden eagle in Mongolia. Looking back, I can see it was partly the eagle I swiped right on.

By Stacy Miller April 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

White Face, Black Eyes

In the hotter months Cactus Country was less a vacation campground and more a land of lost and wandering souls. Like most everyone else who moved to the park during that time, Dave didn’t know how long he would stay or where he would go next.

By Zoë Bossiere April 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Occupation: Fool

Any comedian will tell you, losing an audience’s attention for even a split second can snowball. Handle it wrong, and you may die onstage like Elvis on the toilet, like Lenny Bruce beside the toilet, like William Howard Taft in a bathtub near a toilet.

By Andrew Gleason April 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Surrogates

Twin had lived inside a concrete kennel for four of her five years. Wylie, who also lived inside a concrete box, had gone to prison as a teen. He’d cared for Twin since she was a puppy, which meant he had likely opened her kennel to feed her and let her out thousands of times.

By Jennifer Bowen March 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Don’t Think Too Hard about Avocados

I swear my brain wasn’t always like this. I used to daydream during church sermons, school lessons, and long bus rides. I may have been a shy, awkward nerd with good grades and bad social skills, but inside I was building worlds, whole continents created from nothing and populated with sprawling cities, brave heroes, and looming threats. These days the continents are barren, the heroes defenseless against spotted produce.

By Hank Stephenson February 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Loving a Sport That Doesn’t Always Love Me Back

I’ve always enjoyed pickup: the sudden poetry of it, the immediate bond and intimacy among strangers. . . . It’s all guts and very little glory—yet there is some glory, even if only a handful of spectators are watching. One OHHHHHHH, after you cross someone so hard they fall on their ass, can make you hold your head high for the rest of the week.

By Mac Crane February 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Kissing Strangers in the Street

Afterward I checked my phone. There were a dozen messages from three of my girlfriends who knew where I was. Like a chorus of Muses they asked, Are you alive? The dom was in the shower. I leaned against the glass-topped desk, my abandoned martini on the nightstand. I was very much alive.

By Cameron Hammon February 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Hat

“You found it?” I could tell my answer had pleased him. By then the cashier was ready for me. The checkout had two conveyor belts, and I pushed my cart around to the belt on the opposite side, relieved to be out of close proximity to the man, who now stood across from me.

By Susan Bruns January 2024
Free Trial Issue Are you ready for a closer look at The Sun?

Request a free trial, and we’ll mail you a print copy of this month’s issue. Plus you’ll get full online access — including 50 years of archives.
Request A Free Issue