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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

The New Slavery

An Interview With Kevin Bales

Today, there is no place in the world that allows legal ownership of human beings. Yet many millions of people are still slaves. . . .  In many cases, nonownership turns out to be in the interest of slaveholders, who now enjoy all the benefits of ownership without the obligations and legal responsibilities.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Seymour's Last Dollar

When Seymour entered my life, he came lugging the baggage of his gambling debts. I was a hopelessly soft and introverted seventh-grader in desperate need of a strong male influence. He was a high-school dropout who owed major money to loan sharks — pockmarked guys practiced in the art of rearranging noses and kneecaps through the creative use of sporting-goods equipment.

Visiting Ruth

My mother, Ruth, is a flower closing. Her belly button is the center, the point around which the collapse occurs, limbs drawing in. Her shoulders are compressed forward. There is the hump of her upper back. The matching curl of her knees when she sits in her wheelchair or lies on her side in bed. The pale feet, which she cannot move. At the center of her body, death is pulling on a cord, gathering her in and down.

The Rivers We Call Ourselves

Until the age of twelve, I yearned to be a rock star. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison — I idolized those who raged and loved in gargantuan volumes. Every day, I mimicked them, stomping and screaming and wiggling my hips on the rim of the bathtub and on my bed. Like them, I sought to be loud and impossible to ignore. 

My Father's Bartenders

The girls who poured my father’s gin-and-tonics were slim, brown-eyed beauties, quick to wipe up his spills, freshen his drinks, and smile at his wisecracks. They looked nothing like him, and they asked for nothing from him. Maria worked in the city bar, where my father drank in the afternoons, and Debbie worked in the suburban bar, where my father drank in the evenings.


The Man Who Found You In The Woods

Nathan McCann stood in the cool autumn dark, a moment before sunrise, his shotgun angled up across his shoulder; he insisted that his retriever, Sadie, obey him. He called her name again, cross with her for forcing him to break the morning still, the very reason he had come. In the seven years he’d owned the dog, she had never before refused to come when he called.

Readers Write


I have no debts: no mortgage, no car loan, no student loans — nothing. I have accomplished this by living well below my means, but the roots of my thrift run much deeper than simple common sense.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
Sy Safransky's Notebook

October 2001

Every morning, I weigh myself. Which god am I worshiping when I get on the scale? Sure, the body is a temple. But is 160 a more holy number than 170? It would seem so, from the way I worship. If there’s more of me today, will God love me less?

Musings From Our Founder ▸


“The dollar sign is the only sign in which the modern man appears to have any real faith.”

Helen Rowland

More Quotations ▸
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