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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories


There is no simple way, no easy or uncomplicated way, to look into the face of a filthy old woman on the street. We are frightened or saddened or repelled, feel guilty if not resentful, and then we avert our eyes.

A Brutal Sadness

Capital Punishment And The Politics Of Vengeance

Robert Alton Harris was gassed to death at sunrise on April 21, 1992, the first person to be executed by the state of California in twenty-five years. The execution ended fourteen years of legal wrangling over Harris’s fate, capped by four overnight stays of execution.

The Only Child

Alzheimer’s sneaks up on you: a forgotten appointment, a misplaced handbag, a spoken sentence that makes no sense, an inexplicable burst of anger, the nagging fear that there may not be enough money for you to live on. The early signs of Alzheimer’s seem to be just natural signs of aging.

At Seven

My own experience was going from grace to more grace. I felt only the love. All the other — the sin, the penitence, the being out of grace — was something my mother tacked on. That could never take root in me. The experience I’d had was so much more real and marvelous than anything I was supposed to believe.

Letter To Maxim

The story of you is starting in me again. When I think of you, I see a road, a long gray stretch of lonely two-lane highway, a yellow stripe painted down its middle, a road in the middle of nowhere.


Uncle Ruff

I was not hallucinating. Here was time incarnate, bareheaded, wrapped in heavy bib overalls and flannel, and moving in a lithe, short-stepping dance about the concrete ramp.

*NOTE: Original copies of this issue are no longer available. Unbound, laser-printed copies will be provided for print orders.

Readers Write

Ten Years Later

A sister’s grief, an aging woman’s grace, a rape victim’s triumph

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


The study of crime begins with the knowledge of oneself.

Henry Miller

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