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Selections from the current issue

Here’s a taste of what you’ll find in the July 2008 issue of The Sun.

Digging In:
Wendell Berry On Small Farms, Local Wisdom, And The Folly Of Greed

Interview by Jeff Fearnside

For more than forty years, Wendell Berry has worked his family farm in Kentucky the old-fashioned way, using horses as much as possible and producing much of his own food. And he has published more than forty books, writing by hand in the daylight to reduce his reliance on electricity derived from strip-mined coal. Berry has been called a “prophet” by the New York Times, and his Jeffersonian values are so old they can appear startlingly new.

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Foreclosure
Essay by Doug Crandell

At thirteen, I wanted to be a father.

Our failing family farm had two trailer homes sitting vacant. To make ends meet, my parents rented one to Valerie, a pregnant, unwed twenty-three-year-old with tomato red hair who worked at the Kroger deli, where my mother was the manager. 

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Koans From My Mother
Essay by Jan Shoemaker

I was driving my mother from my sister Sue’s house to my own home last June when she said, “Sue has been my daughter her whole life. Why don’t I know her mother?”

It was as if my mother, whose mind had been steadily losing ground to Alzheimer’s, had become a Zen master dispensing koans. 

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Plus: Readers Write on Now Or Never, poetry by Tom Hawkins, and Sunbeams

This month's favorite from the archives

From the July 1997 issue:

The Plants Respond:
An Interview With Cleve Backster

By Derrick Jensen

Sometimes it happens that a person can name the exact moment when his or her life changed irrevocably. For Cleve Backster, it was early in the morning of February 2, 1966, at thirteen minutes, fifty-five seconds into a polygraph test he was administering.

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Mary Holden, a Sun reader, recommends this interview. She wrote, “Reading it filled my soul with the wonder of all that is seen and unseen. I also love this interview because it was my first introduction to Derrick Jensen, who’s one of the best interviewers I’ve ever read.”

What’s the best piece you’ve ever read in The Sun? Tell us your favorite Sun interview, short story, essay, or poem, and why you like it, and we may post it in the coming months.

Listen to Sy Safransky on The Story

The Sun’s editor and publisher, Sy Safransky, was featured in the June 10 broadcast of The Story, an American Public Media program produced by North Carolina Public Radio (WUNC). Listen to the program here.

Are Sun readers meeting in your area?

More than 150 groups of Sun readers meet regularly to discuss the latest issue of the magazine, or write, or both. Groups have recently formed in:

Berkeley, California
Goleta / Santa Barbara, California
Sacramento, California
Crawfordville, Florida
Miami Beach, Florida
Cartersville, Georgia
San Antonio, Texas
La Paz, Bolivia

To view the complete list of Sun groups, or to start a group of your own, click here.

Most-read this month on www.thesunmagazine.org
  1. Like Wandering Ghosts:
    Edward Tick On How The U.S. Fails Its Returning Soldiers

    Interview by David Kupfer
    (June 2008)
  2. The Ordinary Decency Of The Heart:
    Andrew Harvey On Sacred Activism, The Divine Feminine, And Loving George W. Bush

    Interview by Andrew Lawler
    (May 2008)
  3. Favorites from the Archives
    A selection of favorites from The Sun’s back-issue archives
  4. Everything, All At Once
    Fiction by Austin Bunn
    (June 2008)
  5. These Dark Woods
    Essay by Poe Ballantine
    (June 2008)
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Copyright ©2008, The Sun Publishing Company, Inc., 107 North Roberson Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516.