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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

Language Of Devotion

A Conversation With David James Duncan

In Matthew . . . Christ gets downright caustic about those who pray on street corners “so that they may be seen of men.” When I see Pat Robertson praying on TV, I think, Boy, we sure are selective about what verses we choose to remember.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Who Owns The West?

Four Possible Answers

For all my love of rivers, “our nation’s rivers” have not moved me once. The rivers that have moved me are those I’ve fished and fallen into and canoed and swum and slept beside; those I’ve lived on, nearly drowned in, . . . and fought to defend.

The Fox

Our upstairs neighbor, Mike, told us he hit two foxes on a windy night last month while driving home from Kingston. He stopped to check both animals, as country people often do. The first was dead; the second was not. He took the injured fox home and called a wildlife rehabilitator, but by the time she called back the fox had died. She explained to him that, when the wind is high, the foxes can’t hear cars coming, and a lot of them get hit. It was 3 A.M. and the ground was frozen, so Mike threw the fox out into the snow at the edge of the woods, near the swing set. My daughter, Sylvia, plays on the swings every weekend, and he’s concerned that she’ll eventually trip over the fox. It’s already been there three weeks.

The Song Of Forgiveness

I imagine forgiveness comes to us like a far-off song, and when your body is seized by that distant music, you can’t fight it; your hips begin moving, then the rest of you, even if you can’t really hear the damn melody, don’t recognize the tune. . . . 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?

Fiction

Bikini

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. The bottoms were nothing like the ones you see today, cut so high they appear to be missing their backs. Mine were like a pair of briefs, which was daring enough for 1960 — just about the limit.

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. The living-room windows are painted shut. She manages to crack the bathroom window.

Splitting

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. I’m a scrawny, messy kid in a faded black T-shirt with yellow lettering, dirty white hightops, and pissy-smelling jeans with thready pockets — nothing too original in the world of youth.

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

Readers Write

Divorce

In 1973, the year my parents separated, the only single parents I knew of were on The Brady Bunch and Family Affair, and they were widowed, not divorced. I was traumatized by the breakup, not because I no longer had a father — I saw him often — but because everyone I knew treated me like a freak.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
Quotations

Sunbeams

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

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