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Selections from the December issue
The Sun Magazine | December 2011

The Sun Interview

Beyond Belief: Jacob Needleman On God Without Religion
“I can show you melodies and chords and talk about music theory, but that’s not going to enable you to grasp Mozart. The same goes for the deep feeling that connects you to God.”
By D. Patrick Miller

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

First Empty Your Cup
Lost and found in Tokyo
By Andrew Boyd

Grudge-holding as an Olympic sport
By Dana Kletter

Letter To Josh’s Mom
What he really wanted to tell her
By Chase Dressler


You Choose
“I read the other day that in the Ivory Coast a woman can divorce her husband only if she finds him having sex with the same woman in the family home on three separate occasions. I guess they want to rule out haste. And any optical illusions.”
By Linda McCullough Moore


Contemplation On Rain And Religion
By Jeff Gundy

Readers Write

Saying Too Much
In group therapy, in a courtroom, in Maoist China
Personal stories by our readers


“Sometimes I think we’re alone. Sometimes I think we’re not. In either case, the thought is staggering.”

R. Buckminster Fuller

Give the gift of ideas — Save up to 35% on holiday gifts
https://w1.buysub.com/pubs/SU/TSM/HolidayConvertible.jsp?cds_page_id=88025&cds_mag_code=TSMThis holiday season, you could give someone you love socks. Or scented candles. Or you could give the gift of ideas, and all year long your loved ones will enjoy the personal, political, and provocative writing in The Sun. During the holidays we make gift subscriptions more affordable:

Give a one-year gift — or renew your own subscription — for $39, and order as many additional gifts as you like for only $25 each. That’s 35% off our regular rate!

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The Sun answers to readers, not advertisers

Advertising pursues us everywhere these days: in schools, on public radio, at the doctor’s office. But you won’t find ads in The Sun, because we don’t want to lull readers to sleep with the American lullaby of “buy, buy, buy.” We publish this magazine to dispel illusions, not deepen them.

Without advertising, The Sun is totally supported by its readers. When you make a tax-deductible donation, you stand up for independent publishing, the power of the written word, and the value of authentic stories. Please help keep The Sun alive.

Favorite from the archive
Favorite from the archives | October 2004What The Dead Know
Fiction by Manuel Martinez
[October 2004]

“It began in the hospitals with what seemed to be an epidemic of miracles. The most recently dead came back first. People whose heartbeats had just flat-lined a second earlier suddenly sat upright on their gurneys and beds and looked into the confused faces of those around them.”


Recommended by: Colleen Donfield, Sun manuscript editor

Why she likes it: “What the Dead Know” is a humorous, gentle, and profound look at what happens when an accident of science causes the dead to return. Is there jubilation, reconciliation, and peace in the kingdom? Ha! Not a chance, because, apparently, the dead are the only ones who know how to live, which causes no end of consternation to the living. In beautiful and tender language, Martinez excavates the pain of not being fully alive and shines a light on the immutable sorrow of finally understanding one’s life and then having to let go of it forever.

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

A reader in Alaska writes about “The Voices Inside Their Heads: Gail Hornstein’s Approach To Understanding Madness,” the July 2011 interview by Tracy Frisch: “Humans probably know more about outer space than about the depths of the oceans or the depths of our brains. Mount Holyoke College professor Gail Hornstein, challenges what little we think we know. And if you've been here before, you know I like my ideas challenged.” [What Do I Know?]

A consultant in Minnesota writes about “Your Own Damn Life: Michael Meade On The Story We’re Born With,” the November 2011 interview by John Malkin: “Our stories matter; the more we learn them and retell them, the better for our souls. Embracing those stories is easier said than done.” [Old Family Stories]

Meet Sun readers near you

Groups of Sun readers across the country meet regularly to discuss the latest issue of the magazine, or write, or both. Groups have recently formed in:

   Pasadena, California
   Orlando, Florida
   Newtown, Connecticut
   Peterson, Iowa

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

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