Issue 276 | The Sun Magazine

December 1998

Readers Write


A safe-deposit box, a black-and-white TV, a Christmas gift

By Our Readers


There is a rhythm to the ending of a marriage, just like the rhythm of a courtship — only backward. You try to start again but get into blaming over and over. Finally you are both worn out, exhausted, hopeless. Then lawyers are called in to pick clean the corpse. The death has occurred much earlier.

Erica Jong

The Sun Interview

Language Of Devotion

A Conversation With David James Duncan

Articulating life — converting inarticulate being into words — is definitely one of the great joys of being a writer. For me, the great frustration of being a writer is the same as what frustrates me in my spiritual life: my own stupidity, ignorance, and inability at times to perceive and give voice to the wonder and truth that is always there.

By Christine Byl
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Fox

It was hard to believe the fox was dead. It’s been frozen for a month and hasn’t decomposed at all. It seems a shame just to bury it. I want the pelt, but where can I find out how to skin it?

By Violet Snow (Ellen Carter)
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Song Of Forgiveness

What I mean to say is: I want to forgive my ex-husband. I don’t want to die hating, or even resenting, him. We will never make love, never even kiss again. Never. So where is that song of forgiveness, reputed to be so sweet?

By Gene Zeiger
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Who Owns The West?

Four Possible Answers

Wisdom reveals itself because wisdom lives, hidden, within the self, where only the lone reader, the lone listener, the self itself, can free it. With a series of stories, I hope to create an atmosphere: nothing more. If the question “Who owns the West?” gets answered in that atmosphere, you will have answered it for yourself.

By David James Duncan

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral

On Sunday, Josselyn has promised herself, she will unpack. But on Sunday she’s hung over and depressed, and it’s at least a hundred degrees in the apartment.

By Jennie Litt


In 1960 I was one of the few people I knew who owned a bikini. They had been around for a while but were still considered fairly risqué. Mine was pink, was made of cotton, and tied around the neck.

By Alicia Erian


I come home one afternoon, in my first year of high school, and immediately go down to the basement, known as the “family room” in what were supposedly better days.

By J. W. Major