Issue 491 | The Sun Magazine

November 2016

Readers Write

First Impressions

An autographed bookmark, a stack of children’s books, the ideal country dog

By Our Readers
The Dog-Eared Page

Transforming The Heart Of Suffering

In fact, one’s whole attitude toward pain can change. Instead of fending it off and hiding from it, one could open one’s heart and allow oneself to feel that pain, feel it as something that will soften and purify us and make us far more loving and kind.

By Pema Chödrön


The timidity of the child . . . is entirely reasonable; they are alarmed at this world, because this world is a very alarming place.

G.K. Chesterton

The Sun Interview

The Long Shadow

Bruce Perry On The Lingering Effects Of Childhood Trauma

One of the most important variables, in my experience, is when things happen. If you experience emotionally disengaged caregiving, humiliation, or a sense of being unwanted in the first year or two of life, even if you then escape that environment — maybe you’re adopted, or your parent who was depressed gets better — that early experience can still cause profound social and emotional problems for you all the way into adulthood. On the other hand, kids who have a good first year of consistent, predictable caregiving and then end up in shelters or foster homes and bounce around the system, maybe get sexually and physically abused, and so on — those children often function reasonably well as adolescents.

By Jeanne Supin
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Sometimes I Think About Suicide

Since I started this essay, I have found a relationship of sorts and taken a job with a magazine that some friends started. The difference between a happy ending and an unhappy ending is simply the place you decide to stop telling your story.

By Stephen Elliott
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


If you’re not familiar with waterbugs, if you’ve confused them with some kind of delicate creature that skips along the surface of a lake, you are adorable. Waterbugs are enormous cockroaches. Specifically they are two to four inches long: meaty, definitive proof that there is no God.

By Alice Bradley
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Activities Of Daily Living

I stood inside the entrance of Central State Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, waiting to get patted down. It was my first visit to the institution, in 1992. I was twenty-four and had been working in the field of disability and mental health for two years.

By Doug Crandell

Nothing But Sky

They sat in silence, him eating, her watching. He thought how Reed’s whole life was now a finished story, no more surprises, abandoned forever to the past tense. And Hanley still here, looking for new ways to break the world until it apologized.

By Boomer Pinches

A Visitation

It was very kind of my ex-husband, / dead these dozen years, / to show up in my dream last night.

By Alison Luterman


Say there’s a game: You’re walking by yourself on a / dirt road through a forest at sundown, and all you / have to do is keep walking. Nothing to it.

By David Rutschman