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New Releases

The Great Transition

An Excerpt from Nick Fuller Googins’s First Novel

Ever since her school project Emi has been asking why we did not act sooner. Her mother has an easier answer. She grew up protesting with her family. Blocking oil trains. As for me, what can I say? My parents were loving people. Resourceful. Intelligent. They knew what was happening. My mother pointed out how the goldenthread blossomed months before the pollinators arrived. And the loons that used to winter on our shores—how long since we’d heard their ghostly calls?

By Nick Fuller Googins • January 24, 2024
New Releases

After World

An Excerpt from Debbie Urbanski’s First Novel

Above the keyboard, mounted to the wall, there used to be a monitor in the cage. A viewer could, after transferring the appropriate number of vouchers, upload an image, which would appear on the monitor. The ape would study the image then play a song of remembrance. He could have been pounding random notes on the keys; whoever came up with this system framed it otherwise. They framed it as an animal choosing to remember humanity, similar to a prayer candle in a minor basilica’s back corner.

By Debbie Urbanski • January 24, 2024
Interviews

The Next Fifty Years

Editor Rob Bowers on the Future of The Sun

Like many who find their way to The Sun, our new editor, Rob Bowers, took a roundabout route, from finance to farming to publishing. Even his journey since he joined the staff seems unlikely: the business manager, the publisher, and now the successor to founding editor Sy Safransky. Rob has recounted some of his story in the magazine, but I thought readers might appreciate another opportunity to learn more about him, so I invited him to discuss his new role. We took a break from the crush of late-December deadlines to talk about folk songs, small farms, and the fundamental essence of The Sun.

By David Mahaffey, Associate Editor • January 22, 2024
Featured Selections

More from La Diáspora

In the January 2024 issue of The Sun Hank Baker’s photo essay, “La Diáspora,” recounts his time living in the Costa Chica, a coastal region in Mexico that is home to the greatest number of Black Mexicans in the country. Here are additional photos that Hank shared of the people he met during his time there.

By Hank Baker • January 19, 2024
Featured Selections

Listen to Poems from Our January Issue

Listen to the recordings of the three poems featured in our January issue. Each one contains an image that stops me in my tracks: a motionless panther; a dark mine shaft; the turn of a lock.

By Nancy Holochwost, Associate Editor • January 17, 2024
Featured Selections

Sy Safransky on Writing and The Sun

Selections from the Archive

In our December 2023 issue we included a letter from our founder, Sy Safransky, who is stepping down after fifty years at the helm of The Sun. Presenting readers with a representative collection from his long tenure at the magazine is impossible. Any attempt would inevitably obscure more about his body of work than it reveals. Instead we’ve chosen to share some of Sy’s pieces about writing—and about The Sun.

By Derek Askey, Associate Editor • December 28, 2023
Submissions

Upcoming Readers Write Deadlines

Shaving, Fuel, and Misunderstandings

There’s still time to submit to Readers Write on “Shaving”! Be sure to get your entry to us by January 1, 2024—we’ve suggested a few potential prompts if you still need to get your creative juices flowing. And it’s never too early to start your first draft for an upcoming topic. . . .

December 26, 2023
Interviews

Claus, Inc.

I have often wondered about the man we know as Santa Claus. There is no lack of published material about him, but as far as I can tell there has been no formal interview with the man who has played such a large role in so many lives. Until now. Through a long investigation I was able to locate Santa, and after much negotiation with his public-relations team he agreed to meet with me and talk about his life’s work. When we finally met, it was in a comfortably furnished office in a nondescript cottage with a spectacular view of the ocean. I had envisioned a large man with an ample belly and long white beard, but he was tall and thin with well-trimmed facial hair. He appeared to be in his late fifties and was dressed casually in shorts, flip flops, and a colorful printed shirt that made him look like a tourist.

By Patrick Rockenbach • December 22, 2023
Profiles

All Families

Doug Crandell on Writing about Loved Ones

We’ve been publishing Doug Crandell in The Sun for twenty years now. I’ve been his editor that whole time, and I feel like I know him, even though we’ve met face-to-face only once. He writes with such honesty and openness, often about growing up in rural Indiana. I recently talked with Doug about how he navigated his family members’ responses to his essays about them. We also discussed writing as therapy, how Sun readers react to his work, and Halloween costumes in the seventies.

By Andrew Snee, Senior Editor • December 18, 2023
Announcements

An Update on Israel and Palestine

In recent weeks we have witnessed the ongoing tragedies in the Middle East—the October 7 attack on Israel and the killing and displacement of innocent civilians in Gaza—with a mix of fear, anger, and grief. We want to make our stance clear: we are pro-peace.

December 15, 2023
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