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Selections from the November issue
The Sun Magazine | November 2011

The Sun Interview

Your Own Damn Life: Michael Meade On The Story We’re Born With
“There’s an African proverb: ‘When death finds you, may it find you alive.’ Alive means living your own damn life, not the life that your parents wanted, or the life some cultural group or political party wanted, but the life that your own soul wants.”
By John Malkin

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

I Got Off The Beaten Path (But So Did Everyone Else)
Led astray by the guidebooks
By Andrew Boyd

A first cigarette at forty
By Laura Pritchett

Baby Lollipops
Saying goodbye in Miami Beach
By Jaquira Díaz

In The Air
When you can’t take it back
By Nona Caspers


No Reason
“I don’t want to go to college. I can barely get through a single day of high school. The only reason I go at all is to see Shay, my chemistry partner. He has bleached-blond hair, a mean mouth, and pearly black eyes. It’s not always easy to look into his eyes because he is the type of person who looks past you, but sometimes our eyes meet, and it is like the ground tilts.”
By Kristen Wares


Last Night I Drove My Son Home
By Jim Daniels

Readers Write

Longing for it, claiming it, getting betrayed by it
Personal stories by our readers


“Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that happen to a man.”

Leon Trotsky

Special holiday offer

Do you know someone who prefers candor to cleverness? Real stories to celebrity gossip? If so, they may enjoy a subscription to The Sun. During the holidays, if you give a one-year gift — or renew your own subscription — for $39, you may order as many additional gifts as you’d like for $25 each. That's 35% off our regular rate!

Favorite from the archive
Favorite from the archives | September 2000The Holy Virgin In Queens
Fiction by Elissa Nelson
[September 2000]

“I lived in a queer-girl province whose borders were marked by coffee shops, clothing, music, nightclubs, and the certain way you met another girl’s eyes and held them, a small, erotic, and powerful gesture, letting her know that you knew who she was, what she was. These were the perimeters of our world.”


Recommended by: Colleen Donfield, Sun Manuscript Editor

Why she likes it: “The guilt and shame that rain down upon the narrator and her friend are surprising remnants from Catholic girlhoods they’d both assumed were long gone. We expect their quixotic journey — to check out a sighting of the Virgin Mary — will end the way most urban dates with exciting new friends do: in a cafe or bar, sharing secrets and making other plans. Instead, the narrator’s identity takes a bruising in the inevitable tumble down the rabbit hole. I want to reach in and tell these two young women that Mary was a young girl as untried and uncertain as they were, and there’s no shame in that.”

Each month we post a new selection from The Sun’s archives, which date back to 1974. Some of the works are staff favorites or suggestions from readers. Others are chosen from our three Best Of The Sun anthologies.

What’s your favorite piece from The Sun and why? Tell us, and we may post your suggestion on our website.

What bloggers are saying

Several readers share their experiences of our “Into The Fire” gathering at Esalen in Big Sur, California. One of our scholarship winners overcomes self-doubt to read her own work in front of a community of writers. A participant returning to Esalen after four years away posts the text of a free-writing exercise that describes her “renewal of spirit and purpose.” Another writer’s transformative experience unlocks a “silent, locked-up place inside.”

A cyclist uploads a YouTube video of Sy Safransky reading an excerpt from his forthcoming book.

A graduate student at Iowa State University interviews Sun Managing Editor Tim McKee for the Flyway blog.

Most read on our site
  1. Awkward Walks With Unavailable Men
    Essay by Rachel Yoder
    (October 2011)
  2. Cheap Thrills
    Personal stories by our readers
    (October 2011)
  3. Agonizing Grace
    Essay by Alan Craig
    (October 2011)
  4. Pirate With A Cause: Paul Watson's Crusade To Protect Marine Wildlife
    Interview by Gillian Kendall
    (October 2011)
  5. Saving The Indigenous Soul: An Interview With Martin Prechtel
    Interview by Derrick Jensen
    (April 2001)

Copyright ©2011, The Sun Publishing Company, Inc., 107 North Roberson Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516.