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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

Down To Business

Paul Hawken On Reshaping The Economy

Human beings need to create; we are born that way. Most of the damage being done is a result of misdirected creative impulses badly applied and greatly abetted by ignorance.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Ending My Religion

I grew up in the hyper-Christian culture of Charlotte, North Carolina, within spitting distance of Jim and Tammy Bakker’s ill-fated Praise the Lord Ministry and other evangelical fiefdoms too numerous to count. But because my mother believed in Faulkner and Steinbeck above all other gods, my upbringing was more literary than religious; for that, my gratitude to her knows no bounds.


My companion, Amelia, had a clear view of the whole incident. It went like this: It was 6 p.m. on a Friday, and we both wanted to finish stripping the doors of this old farmhouse before dinner. With a lot of little bedrooms, we had a lot of doors to strip. Amelia had run the belt sander over most of one door. It was the first of about four passes we’d make with the sandpaper, but the only pass using the heavy sander, an alligator of a machine that gobbled and grabbed its way across surfaces while we reined it in with muscle.

We Decided To Call It Baseball

Shoulder down, chin out, my father dragged his old athlete’s body down the sidewalk and up the steps to my flat. Refusing any help with his suitcase, he entered, looked around, and exhaled. “I don’t know what you got me into, but here I am.” Though he intended it as a joke, it came out as a challenge. He was nervous. So was I. 



That spring, my father became a voluntary mute. He’d putter around the house with a spiral-bound notepad and a black pen, frantically scribbling down directives or questions.

“Tiny,” the note would read, “I’ve gotta work, so get yourself and all your friends out of the house for a while.”

Readers Write

Cleaning Up

As a child, I became obsessed with straightening up. Confused and uncertain as to why things felt so wrong between my mother, my father, and myself, I started putting the house in order.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
Sy Safransky's Notebook

April 2002

I'm a year older than President Bush. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t seem like much of a father figure to me. Or maybe he’s as much of a father figure as this foolish nation deserves. Nearly everyone is behind him now. 

Musings From Our Founder ▸


“You may break any written law in America with impunity. There is an unwritten law that you break at your peril. It is: do not attack the profit system.”

Mary Heaton Vorse

More Quotations ▸
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