Issue 324 | The Sun Magazine

December 2002

Readers Write

Against The Odds

The Sonny Liston–Cassius Clay fight, a dramatic hat, Phil Collins

By Our Readers
Sy Safransky's Notebook

December 2002

It takes so long to rub the sleep from my eyes, to shake off the dreams of my father and my father’s father, to remember that, like me, they were just men. Not patriarchs. Not father figures. Just men.

By Sy Safransky


Americans are very friendly and very suspicious, that is what Americans are and that is what always upsets the foreigner who deals with them, they are so friendly how can they be so suspicious they are so suspicious how can they be so friendly but they just are.

Gertrude Stein

The Sun Interview

Searching For The Soul Of America

An Interview With Jacob Needleman

Human beings are meant to do more than simply live out their physical lives on this earth. They’re meant to do more, even, than be good stewards of the natural environment. Humanity is meant to be a conductor of great forces, passing from above, through humankind, and back. That’s what I mean by the “American soul.” Our society has a unique spiritual function that is all too often forgotten.

By D. Patrick Miller
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Place To Stand

It was no surprise that the judge had given me the harshest sentence allowed by law. The nuns had always said I was a bad boy, and here was the judge making the same condemnation. I was sure I was convicted mostly because of who I was, expunged from a society that didn’t want people like me in it.

By Jimmy Santiago Baca
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Do You Know Calvin Jones?

I had seen Calvin beaten, scorned, humiliated by our father. I had been spared; Katie had been spared; Tema had been spared — all because of Calvin. He was the better target, the only son, born with one testicle, his head misshapen by the doctor’s forceps. He’d been our shield. In our daily reconnaissance, he was point.

By Sybil Smith
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The NEA And Me

Apparently you must not tell the NEA: “I want the money because I don’t like working. I find employment a little tedious.” Instead, you must invent some grand project goal the grant will help you achieve.

By Sparrow

Flesh And Blood

Most people wonder about their ancestry, scanning family history for glimpses of their destinies, seeking proof that they’re not the accidents they often appear to be. But when you’re adopted, you have no archives to dig through. Like Adam or Eve, you invent your destiny.

By Colin Chisholm