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Identity

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Macho Baby

I know that what we call hate is sometimes love that was pushed under a rock, love deprived of light and water. “Tell me to what you pay attention,” writes the philosopher José Ortega y Gasset in his book Man and Crisis, “and I will tell you who you are.” How much love is putrefying inside boys this very moment, starved for nourishment?

By Nicole Graev Lipson December 2023
Poetry

Key Marco Cat

Legs folded / under its body, / the figure sits / straight up, alert, / an incarnation / of stillness, of eyes / looking everywhere / at once. I look at / this possibility of me/ rooted in the dark, / invisibly still.

By Robert Cording December 2023
Photography

La Diáspora

People of sub-Saharan African descent have lived in what is today Mexico since the early days of Spanish colonization. . . . Today there are only a handful of communities left with large Black Mexican populations. The Costa Chica, the coastal region of southern Guerrero and northern Oaxaca, boasts the greatest number. . . . My experience in Juárez and the relative scarcity of information about Mexico’s Black communities made me curious to visit the Costa Chica myself. So a few years later I did. I ended up staying there for six months, forming friendships and documenting the residents’ daily life. This is a selection of photos from my time there.

Photographs By Hank Baker December 2023
Fiction

Basements

I was considered “good,” considered a “good influence.” It amazed me — like the cool feeling of Marshall’s tongue on my labia had amazed me — that I could possess all of these qualities; that I could be both warm and cold, virtuous and defiant; and that someone could love me for all of it.

By Lauren Hohle December 2023
Announcements

This Month In Sun History

Our 50th Year Of Publication

The most important December in Sun history is, well, this one: the month in which Sy Safransky, after fifty years of laboring to put out the magazine he founded, steps away from his desk and becomes, deservingly, editor emeritus.

By The Sun November 2023
The Dog-Eared Page

20, 40, 60, 80

Middle-aged people shrink, crease, fade, and, if they’re lucky, slowly lose the desire to be noticed, the way we once lost our childhood taste for Necco Wafers or Pez. My desire to be seen is gradually being replaced by the desire to see: the faces of those I love, the cardinal in the bush, the socks of the woman with multiple sclerosis who swims at the Y.

By Genie Zeiger November 2023
Quotations

Sunbeams

The challenge of running The Sun continues to occupy me. Sometimes it occupies me like a conquering army, sometimes like the Holy Ghost. Either way I’m grateful for the chance to do this work month after month, year after year — a man happy to have found his cross to bear. Yes, even living your dream can feel like a burden now and then. But, my oh my, to live your dream! And not just when you’re sleeping, but every morning when you open your eyes. Then you sit in the dark and write a few words. Then the sun comes up.

Sy Safransky’s Notebook, May 2006

By Sy Safransky November 2023
The Sun Interview

Speak, Memory

Lynn Casteel Harper On New Ways Of Understanding Dementia

Askey: How do you think we will look back on our current treatment of people with dementia?

Harper: I think we will see how incomplete our approach was: The obsession with a cure. The overuse of psychotropic medications to “manage distressing behaviors.” Only something like 10 percent of that is necessary, research shows. A lot of those psychotropic medications are dangerous for people living with dementia.

By Derek Askey November 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Letter From Sy’s Desk

In January my implausible idea of working at the magazine for fifty years will have come to pass, and I will comfortably step into a new role as editor emeritus. That having been said, it’s hard for me to say goodbye.

By Sy Safransky November 2023
Fiction

Deformation Catalog

I had thought nobody understood dark matter — that it was, fundamentally, an encapsulation of all we didn’t know. But it turned out other people’s lack of understanding took the form of complex theories, mathematical equations, computer programs that turned impenetrable data into different impenetrable data. Other people’s confusion was a castle you could live inside, a whole architecture of the unknown. My confusion was a wall I kept walking into.

By Emet North November 2023