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The Sun Interview

Water, Water Everywhere

Ran Ortner’s Love Affair With The Sea

If I could convey the ocean’s paradoxes, its ferocity and tenderness, in the same image, I could possibly awaken the viewer to a place where language drops away. By setting these massive, lush paintings in the artificial environment of the contemporary gallery, I intend to make it feel astonishing, to have an impact so immediate that it becomes what Kafka called an “ax for the frozen sea inside us.”

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Citizens Of The Dream

You might very well be lazy, afraid of failure, and undisciplined and still write. You might lack the urge and still write. You might not be “a writer” and still write. . . . You are both obliged to develop your talent and free not to develop it. That is, you are free to acknowledge obligations but still say no to them.

The Unspeakable Things Between Our Bellies

I don’t identify with most other mothers — the conversations about clothes and music lessons and camps and milestones in development. The only mothers I truly feel OK around are the ones whose kids have something different about them. Something odd. Or wrong. Or worse.

Free Rent At The Totalitarian Hotel

I lived downtown in an apartment complex that, for its Second Empire facade, transient tenantry, and despotic manager, I had dubbed the “Totalitarian Hotel.” The manager, Mrs. Vollstanger, was a gouty old Prussian and always wore pearls and thick, embroidered white sweaters.

Fiction

Mr. Oleander

“Your move,” said Avior. “What will you do? How will you explain the pawns who are no longer powerless? There are so many. We have strength in numbers. We have power, you know. It is a capital mistake to think that small things do not have power.”

On The Verge Of Extinction

From ten Saturday morning — when your father picks you up at the house you don’t want to live in, your mother’s boyfriend’s house — to eight Sunday night, when your mother retrieves you from the house you never wanted to leave but are now allowed to visit only twice a month, you have thirty-four hours for your father to prove to you that he’s not the man your mother says he is.

Readers Write

Good Advice

The Tooth Fairy, a vibrator, a fiftieth wedding anniversary

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
The Dog-Eared Page
A Classic from the Bookshelf ▸
Quotations

Sunbeams

“The primary distinction of the artist is that he must actively cultivate that state which most men, necessarily, must avoid: the state of being alone.”

James Baldwin

More Quotations ▸
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