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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

Holding Our Power

An Interview With Malidoma Patrice Somé

When I arrived at the modest Oakland home of Malidoma Patrice Somé and his wife, Sobonfu, Malidoma had to excuse himself, saying, “I am trying to calm someone on the phone, someone in great disarray.” After a few minutes he returned, sat down on the couch with a sigh, and said, “Sometimes I think everybody in this culture is on fire.”

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

My First Night At The Initiation Camp

This year the millet fields had been generous and the harvest good. The hard work of collecting and transporting grain from the farm to the house roofs, where it waited to be put into the granaries, was over. Now, in the fallow dry season, the villagers turned their attention to spiritual matters — to initiation.

Off The Map

Last fall, after two years of escalating entreaties by my girlfriend, I finally agreed to move from the city to the country. More precisely, from San Francisco to northern New Mexico, to a desert of lunar silences and nights so black that I rediscovered my childhood fear of the dark.

Mr. Handyperson

A house is a remarkable multipurpose system made to provide shelter from heat and cold, security from a wide range of wild animals both primeval and contemporary, privacy, refuge, an investment, a statement, a hobby. It combines into one package an arcane collection of materials and forces including things that explode, things that rust, things that burn, things that rot, things that crumble, things that break, and many, many things that can burn you, crush you, drown you, injure you in hundreds of ways, and make you sick. 


My Crap Life

He looks up and says me and my brother are getting a haircut on the front porch after dessert. Three days before summer, and he’s going to cut our hair.


“He says he believes God is a Yorkshire terrier.” My sister Nance’s voice hissed across the long-distance lines.

Scenes From A Wedding

Rabbi Alan Gershon sits in his Talmud-lined office preparing his comments for the ceremony. He has brought up his “Marriage Notes” file on the computer  — general remarks that he adjusts for each occasion. He changes the names to Jason and Holly, and decides to leave in, as appropriate, “the delightful and loving young couple who stand under our canopy this evening, ready to profess their mutual love.”

Readers Write

Family Reunions

When I was growing up, Mother’s Day was the day we left church early, got in our 1956 Chevrolet station wagon, and drove two hours to my grandparents’ farm for the annual family reunion.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


“It is not drawn on any map; true places never are.”

Herman Melville

More Quotations ▸
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