Issue 370 | The Sun Magazine

October 2006

Readers Write


A loud snap reminiscent of ice cubes cracking in a glass, waiting arms, a broken hammock

By Our Readers
Sy Safransky's Notebook

October 2006

The rain hits the tin roof, a sound Norma loves. Too loud, I insist, unable to sleep. What do you call the rain when two people can’t agree what the rain sounds like?

By Sy Safransky


Underground nuclear testing, defoliation of the rain forests, toxic waste . . . Let’s put it this way: if the world were a big apartment, we wouldn’t get our deposit back.

John Ross

The Sun Interview

Dream A Little Dream

Bill McKibben On Reforming Our Supersized Society

The real struggle is to get past the notion of growth as our reason for being, which has dominated our culture since World War II. It’s the organizing principle for government policy and most other institutions in our society, including higher education. This is not a tenable model anymore. When you consider global warming, peak oil, and the diverging fortunes of rich and poor nations, it gets harder and harder to maintain this fervent, Alan Greenspan belief that if we continue to increase the size of the system, all will be well.

By Alexis Adams
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Sincerely, Edward Abbey

The important and difficult question is “How? How save the wilderness?” I am not much concerned with the state of the world a thousand years from now, for in that long-range view I am an optimist: I think that the greed and stupidity of industrial culture will save us from ourselves by self-destruction. What I am concerned about is the world my children will have to live in, and maybe, if my children ever get around to it, the world of my grandchildren.

Edward Abbey Edited By David Petersen
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Brahmic Egg

For eleven weeks I threw up in the late afternoons. I shivered and broke out in sweats, grew bloated and round in the cheeks. My breasts felt tender. My tongue swam in my mouth. I ate grapefruit and soft-boiled eggs, loosened my waistband, fell asleep on the floor under my desk.

By Margot Singer
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Blessed Meadows For Minor Poets

At two o’clock in the afternoon on March 18, 1998, while typing up a story on a snowy gray day in Room 8 of the Sunset Motel in Hays, Kansas, I heard the crackle of tires in fresh snow out front. I had recently quit the radio-antenna factory, having saved enough to write for three months before I would have to go back.

By Poe Ballantine
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

You’re In Prison

It’s not like in the movies. That stuff really happens, but it doesn’t all happen in an hour and a half, in three acts that build to a dramatic conclusion, like it does on the big screen. You think it’s going to be exactly like that, especially after you’ve been convicted and sentenced, and you’re still being housed at the county jail, and some guy asks if you’ve ever been to the “pen.”

By John Purugganan
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Button

On a warm summer afternoon not long ago, my friend Brian and I were sitting on the lawn in front of my apartment. It was Friday, and, as usual, I hadn’t crossed off many items on my to-do list for the week. I had my laptop outside, but I couldn’t concentrate, partly because it was finally sunny after several days of tiresome drizzle, but mostly because Brian kept interrupting me.

By Maraya Cornell

A Heart In Port

“Tripoli, Havana, Cyprus, Panama, San Juan.” My mother ticks off the names of the places she has lived, chanting them like a prayer. She married my father, a navy man, and followed him from post to post. When I was very young, young enough to sit with her in the middle of the day drinking milk from a plastic cup while she had her afternoon coffee, she would tell me about those places.

By Dawn Paul