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The Sun Magazine

Culture and Society



When They Came To Us

We went to sleep, and in the morning they were here. We saw them on our screens as they emerged from a grove of trees a hundred miles west of us. Their ship had crashed. It was made of a rose-gold metal and looked like a claw with a broken tip. Within hours the government had moved these beings — the “blues,” we eventually came to call them — to a holding station outside the nearest city. There we could watch them whenever we wanted, because of the cameras in each room.


My Sister, The Writer

My sister is a writer. She writes terrible things about me. She thinks she is telling the family secrets, but we all think she’s hysterical. Everything is dark and gloomy in her stories, and there is always some gnawing pain that envelops the narrator. We think she should be on antidepressants. We know other families where it has helped.

Readers Write


As a sixth-grade teacher in a struggling seaside town with a drug problem, a high rate of domestic abuse, a seasonal housing crisis, and more than its share of strip clubs, pawn shops, and beer joints, I consider it part of my job to eavesdrop on my students. Oddly, they’re often relieved when I pull them aside and confess what I’ve heard. “Did you say you’ve been staying alone for two days?” I’ll ask. Or, “Tell me again what your mother’s boyfriend did to her.”


For The Man Upstairs

Without hesitating, I carried the pie out into the hallway, and climbed the flight of stairs to the third floor, where I knocked boldly on the man’s door. Not a sound from inside. I breathed deeply; the air seemed thinner up here. While I waited, I examined the way the purple syrup had bubbled over the browned pastry. After a minute I set the pie down before the threshold and turned to leave.

Readers Write

The God Of My Childhood

Since my mother is Jewish, lots of people worry about me growing up the wrong religion. Our maid Picollo is one. She is a black slouch of a woman who walks half a mile from the bus stop when her husband can’t bring her on his way to work. She putters around like an army without shoes, and she doesn’t follow directions, because she figures, “If the lady don’t like it, she can clean her own house.”