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The Sun Interview

Walking Around In The Heart

Coleman Barks On Rumi, Sensuality, And The Path With No Name

I’ve always loved that moment when I feel the language coming. Nobody knows what the source of the flow of language is, that inspiring eloquence, but we know it when we feel it. Artists of any kind get addicted to that: “Why can’t I be this way all the time?” We destroy ourselves with ways of faking it, of manufacturing inspiration. Writers are so impatient.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

My Accidental Jihad

For the next month, nothing will touch my husband’s mouth between sunup and sundown: Not food. Not water. Not my lips. A chart posted on our refrigerator tells him the precise minute when his fast must begin and end each day. I will find him in front of this chart again this evening, staring at his watch, waiting for it to tell him he may eat.

Suki

I want to tell you about a cat — a sublime creature entrusted to me in my youth — that I allowed to die. There were extenuating circumstances, but there always are. I forgive myself nothing. She loved me, and I let her down. I committed a terrible crime.

The Hereafter

For someone who’s been to New Jersey only a handful of times, I have a long history with the Garden State. I’m visiting it now because my Aunt Velma is dying. The cancer’s giving us just enough time to say goodbye.

Fiction

What Is Left

I spent twelve years in the state penitentiary for crimes imagined by children and believed by adults. For those twelve years, my body became my enemy and my commodity — I let the inmates hurt me so I could live. Besides the common abuses, they also broke my fingers and thumbs and sometimes the little bones in my hands. Once, they shattered a wrist.

Readers Write

Telling The Truth

Library books, a stage production of Cheaper by the Dozen, bacon-lettuce-and-tomato sandwiches

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
Sy Safransky's Notebook

October 2007

If I sit here waiting for the perfect sentence to show up, I’ve got a long wait ahead of me. Maybe the perfect sentence doesn’t want me to wait. Maybe the perfect sentence is tired of one-night stands with writers who fall in love too easily, who can’t be trusted to stick around when the perfect sentence turns out to be not so perfect after all.

Musings From Our Founder ▸
Quotations

Sunbeams

The most striking contradiction of our civilization is the fundamental reverence for truth that we profess, and the thoroughgoing disregard for it that we practice.

Vilhjalmur Stefansson

More Quotations ▸
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