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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Short-Lived Ecstasy Bordering On Madness

Well honed by disappointment, my instincts told me this book contract was not going to work out (it wasn’t) and that the philosophical differences I had with my editor were not going to be resolved (they weren’t). But at the age of forty-three and looking at my first — and maybe last — realistic shot at a career in letters, I was like an old dog not yet willing to let go of a bone.

Eating Head

“Gringo watching,” I call it. I’ve been living in Mexico on and off for twenty years, and slowly I’m developing this prejudice, this terrible prejudice, against Americans. “They’re so pale and wan — in such a hurry,” I think, trying to forget I’m one of them.

My Time

I can’t understand why things don’t suddenly turn into other things. Why doesn’t my knife turn into a candle, my toaster into a snake? Why don’t the lightbulbs turn into women?

Woman And Nature

Book Review

In Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her, Susan Griffen explores the connection between feminism and ecology by tracing Patriarchy’s attitudes toward women and nature throughout Western history. These attitudes view women and nature as matter, inert and passive, therefore subject to the restless dominating activity of male prerogative. Ms. Griffen, a poet, traces this view through Western science, philosophy, religion, ecology, female history and feminism.

Wrinkled Little Man With Sad Eyes

Book Review

The mature work of Somerset Maugham is nothing if not honest. It moves on the weight of his blunt, plain sentences, which he delivers to the reader like so many body blows. One thinks, for instance, of The Summing Up, a book which Maugham wrote in his sixties to say a final word on things (unfortunately, he then lived to ninety-one) and in which the stark honesty of the prose is almost breathtaking. “Though I have been in love a good many times I have never experienced the bliss of requited love. I have most loved people who cared little or nothing for me and when people have loved me I have been embarrassed.” He couldn’t have said it more plainly than that.


To distract myself from the fact that my dog is dying, I check the headlines. This is August 2017, so the news is not good, but it keeps my gaze from drifting over to my dog’s curled-up body, trembling on his bed in the corner. In a lot of ways, reading the news is like watching my dog die, just easier to bear.

Dark Houses

Gingerly, creeping, my mother drives her “safe” back way home, winding through the subdivisions bordering downtown Orlando, Florida. The little truck doesn’t have air conditioning. I stretch my arm out the window as if I might be able to feel the Spanish moss hanging from the trees like witch hair.

The Queen of Hearts

Rule #20: Never bring a book to work. It makes the customers think you’re better than them. It doesn’t matter what you’re reading. It doesn’t matter if you’ve finished cleaning all the glasses and it’s a quiet Monday afternoon — leave the book at home. You’ll know this when your father comes behind the bar looking pissed and tells you to come into his office.