Issue 280 | The Sun Magazine

April 1999

Readers Write


A two-headed dog, a restored farmhouse in Tuscany, a talking-stick circle

By Our Readers


Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go into the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Piano Player Enters The Room

Chick Chom Tang and I are very much alike: childless, suburban-bred, TV-culture baby boomers who somehow missed the boat on the Promises of Youth. Neither of us has ever come close to marriage. Both of us have been poor (by American standards) all our adult lives.

By Poe Ballantine
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Before And After

Every day of the month before I committed suicide, I listened to Pink Floyd’s The Wall and was perfectly happy. It focused the mind wonderfully to know that, barring a miracle, in four weeks, then three, then two, I would no longer exist.

By K. E. Ellingson
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Life And Times Of A Minor Western Writer

For almost a month now I’ve been trying to collect the fifty-five dollars that a national environmental magazine owes me for a four-hundred-word book review. That’s two twenties, a ten, and a five.

By Stephen J. Lyons
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Madman

The Lebanese village of Magdaluna, where I grew up, had none of the modern conveniences. It was stuck somewhere in the eighteenth century until after the Great War, when my father returned from the army with his beat-up radio. When I was a child, we had no running water in our homes, electricity was unheard of, and our toilets were holes in the ground way out in a field.

By Anwar F. Accawi
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A View Of The Lake

The lakes of northern Michigan were mysterious to me when I was growing up. There was always at least one undeveloped side and a few swampy coves on each. I saw the trees on the lake’s edge as the border to an endless forest full of bears and big cats.

By James Ralston
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Not At This Address

My mother, my uncle tells me, has lost her wits. She lets a group of neighborhood kids into her house. They steal from her. Worse yet, she gives them money. Blank checks. She signs the checks, and these kids fill in whatever amounts they want. “They’re robbing her,” he says, “robbing her blind.”

By Lee Martin

An Omelet For Louie

I don’t know why certain faces are magical for me, why a particular set of features should seize me with the conviction that all of love and meaning can be found in the way an eyebrow lifts, or the way the corner of a mouth tucks in to suggest a smile. But Louie’s face always seemed like such a miracle.

By Tim Farrington