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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

At Home In The World

An Interview With Peter Matthiessen

The Bosnian Muslims and Serbs have been fighting for hundreds of years, and human nature hasn’t changed in forty thousand years. On the other hand, we can’t disregard human misery, and we must help where we can.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories


In the seventies, over a period of five years, I killed approximately two thousand rats. That’s four hundred rats per year, a little over a rat a day. I was a graduate student in cell physiology, studying the effects of lead poisoning on liver and kidney biochemistry. At the time, I said, “I have to kill rats to get a Ph.D.”

Cosmic Airdrome (Revisited)

I am always delighted to read something really intelligent. But reading must be considered an experience perpendicular to practical life and not anything useful for physical existence. My relations with other people have often resulted in shocks for which art and intellect are no preparation.

Breakfast At The Victory

There he was, spinning in his grimy apron, no more mysterious than a toasted hard roll. He was certainly the center of everything that happened in the Victory, but it was a strangely unnoticed center.

Their Turn

I should be following the election returns. Instead, I’m sitting in a darkened auditorium, watching the Whirling Dervishes.


Jerking Off In Central America

For those of you who have never had a panic attack, the words may have no special emotional tug. For those of you who have had one, they will bring forth memories of a mind frozen in exquisite agitation, the whole room, the whole world enmeshed in a horror movie that refuses to go away.

The Big Red Book

As Isaac Thomas walked jauntily down the bright, wide sidewalk at midday, he felt the weight of the book against his thigh, his wrist, the palm of his hand. It was a fat book, a big book, as red as a fire engine. It filled his hand and gave added emphasis to his step, and now and then he let it swing with the rhythm of his downtown strut.

For Dave With Eyes Like Jesus

Dave loved my older sister at a time when a lot of boys loved her. During parties at our house, the boys would get a little drunk and sometimes fight. I would watch from the stairs that overlooked the front room.

Readers Write

Law And Order

I lived in Berkeley in the sixties, when it seemed like Berkeley was the center of the political world. Every wave of social change seemed to originate there, then spread outward. It was a time when people thought up inventive ways to sabotage the agents of power: the university, the cops, the military, the government. And these agents enjoyed using their strength to put the saboteurs back down.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


“I did not go to the Maggid of Mezeritch to learn Torah from him, but to watch him tie his boot laces.”

A Hasidic rabbi

More Quotations ▸
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