This month's issue



We’re looking for personal essays, short stories, and poetry; please review our submission guidelines to make sure your work is a good fit.
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Join us for a lively weekend of writing, conversation, and inspiration on twenty-seven acres of Big Sur coastline. We hope you’ll join us.

The Sun Interview

To Have And To Hold Stephanie Coontz On The Past, Present, And Future Of Marriage

by Mark Leviton

“Marriage has become harder, not because people did it better in the past, but because we have higher expectations of what a marriage should be.”


Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Radical Idea Of Marrying For Love

by Stephanie Coontz

“For most of history it was inconceivable that people would choose their mates on the basis of something as fragile and irrational as love and then focus all their sexual, intimate, and altruistic desires on the resulting marriage.”


The Possible Universe

by Claire Halliday

“The first time the married man tells you to kneel and wait for him, you are at home in your pajamas. He is at work, and his text arrives over your phone: how fast can you put on a sexy outfit complete with shoes and unlock your door and be kneeling silent in your apartment when i come in.”


Undue Familiarity

by Ellen Collett

“The volunteer coordinator warns you many people cry when entering or leaving this prison, a red-brick high-rise in rural North Carolina housing the state’s youngest male offenders, ages fifteen to twenty-one.”


The Bird List

by Jill Wolfson

“He told me to stand very still and wait for a flash of movement in the tree, then focus on a reference point — say, a gnarled branch — and lift the binoculars to my face.”




by Thomas Lee

“My psychiatrist, the wrinkly Dr. Kim, fiddles with the graying strands that cover his shiny dome and repeats the same questions as usual. . .”



In The Blaze

by Ellery Akers

Readers Write

At The Last Minute

by Our Readers

A missing groom, an emergency delivery, a dog’s life

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In This Issue



“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. . . . You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life. . . . They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you.”

Neil Gaiman, The Sandman


Letter to the Editor

If you’re thinking about writing us a letter, give in to the temptation.