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The Sun Magazine

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Telling Stories

How Television Skews Our View Of Society, And Ourselves — An Interview With George Gerbner

The notion that exposure to violence incites violence is itself media-driven. Exposure actually does something much more worse than incite violence: it cultivates a sense of insecurity and dependence that makes people submit to indignities no human being should ever have to bear.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Like A Leaf In Autumn

A Reconsideration Of The Good Death Of Scott Nearing

In the 1920s, Scott Nearing was a professor of economics until his radical views got him fired from two universities. Even the Communist Party found him too outspoken. In 1932, denied permission to speak in public and unable to get his books published, he turned his back on academia and moved with his wife-to-be, Helen, to a run-down farm in Vermont, determined to start a new life.

Memories Of Chengdu

At first I thought it was something in my head, like a dream you can’t shake during the day, or a memory of something that hasn’t happened. Something akin to madness, I reasoned. So I consulted a therapist. My life, I told her, reminds me of a Chengdu market, with the vendor women leaning in, shouting the only phrase I know in Chinese: “Want?” “Don’t want?” The message is clear. Take it, or move on. Only I can’t tell what’s being offered. Food items? Cleaning products? Salvation?


Warja’s Feast

I was struggling to open a can of powdered milk with a pocketknife when Kombate clapped his hands outside the window of my house and called, “Mademoiselle! Mademoiselle!”

The Illustrated Diary Of Doris Koppleman

March 3, 1956

Only about half the number of people come to Ma’s funeral as to Dad’s. And Paul didn’t even bother to show up. I might have been madder if he did, anyways. At church Father Dietz didn’t have much to say about her. A woman’s life is not worth as much as a man’s, especially on a farm. And farm people learn not to expect much from the world so they are not much surprised when something bad happens. At the cemetery everyone seemed more interested in seeing how deep the frost line was in the hole where the casket goes down, even Uncle Fred and Uncle Arnie. That’s the way it goes around here, especially now that it’s almost spring. Their lives depend on what they put in and pull out of that frozen dirt.


Marcus and I agreed to share parenting equally, splitting our child in half like a Georgia watermelon. We flipped a coin for the first month: three out of five. I won. Tonight, my month alone with Lee is over; Marcus is scheduled to pick him up at seven.

Readers Write

My Chair

Writing about my chair is easy. I have only one. I found it in the maintenance yard when I arrived at this prison eighteen years ago.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


The media transforms the great silence of things into its opposite.

Michel de Certeau

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