Issue 204 | The Sun Magazine

December 1992

Readers Write

Lost Causes

A good girl, a neglected child, a disappointed daughter

By Our Readers


Maybe journey is not so much a journey ahead, or a journey into space, but a journey into presence. The farthest place on earth to journey is into the presence of the person nearest to you.

Nelle Morton

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Confederacy Of Dunces

The Tyranny Of Compulsory Schooling

The new dumbness — the non-thought of received ideas — is much more dangerous than simple ignorance, because it’s really about thought control. In school, a washing away of the innate power of individual mind takes place, a “cleansing” so comprehensive that original thinking becomes difficult.

By John Taylor Gatto
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Zen Mud

I’d planned to arrive in Japan with practically no social resources. I had some money, and my pack was heavy, but I hadn’t bothered to learn Japanese. I wanted to see what would happen. I arrived shaggy, hot, dizzy, and alone.

By Steve Miles
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


Dad brought me forward, a hand gently on my shoulder, face to face with the boy I didn’t want to fight; whatever he said, we understood that we had to. Maybe there was some feeling of a code being invoked, a tradition being followed.

By Dan Howell
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Freedom’s Just Another Word

I meet with Mikhail Bazankov, a Russian novelist, who tells me the dissolution of the Soviet Union has been a mixed blessing for writers. With the Russian economy in shambles, he explains, it’s difficult to get books published and distributed.

By Sy Safransky

My Study On Stay-Puts

You can do your studies on us migratory types all you want. My sister Rose came home from school last year saying that’s what you stay-puts call us. I told her you’re probably the same guys yelling White trash bastards go home when we drive through Salem. She says, no, you wouldn’t yell at us.

By Marian Mathews Clark

A Snapshot Of Them Smiling

“One,” the monster counted, “two,” the licks it would take, “three,” to get to, “four,” the center, “CRUNCH! Four. Four licks, hmmm.” The monster nibbled down Marc’s legs, arms, and then the rest disappeared in a giant, uncomfortable gulp.

By Wm. Lychack

The Door

She climbed the little trail to her cabin, her mind weary, each step pulling at her energy. But the sight of the door took her breath away. Something filled her, swept through her body singing. She went toward it slowly, then ran her two hands over every inch.

By Sharon Claybough