Issue 552 | The Sun Magazine

December 2021

Readers Write

Caught In The Act

Smoking in the girls’ room, sneaking a drink, napping

By Our Readers
The Dog-Eared Page

Soybeans

Soybeans look like a foot of water on the field in April / When you’re ready to plant and can’t get in

By Thomas Alan Orr
Quotations

Sunbeams

Democracy disciplined and enlightened is the finest thing in the world. A democracy prejudiced, ignorant, superstitious will land itself in chaos and may be self-destroyed.

Mahatma Gandhi

The Sun Interview

The Elephant In The Room

Rick Perlstein On The Evolution Of The American Conservative Movement

In a lot of ways the start of the Civil War at Fort Sumter in 1861 found its modern parallel on January 6, 2021.

By Jeff Weiss
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Old Friend

I wasn’t good at sports, like he was, but when it was just the two of us, he liked to play pretend. That, I was good at. Whether we were knights or ninjas or mountain men or astronauts or soldiers in Vietnam, he listened with his whole self — intent, leaning in — to whatever story I was telling.

By Joe Wilkins
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Growth

Being in remission is like air: you only appreciate it when it’s gone. After four years of not appreciating it, I’m back on Vancouver Island, where I work at the university as a cafeteria dishwasher.

By Jason Jobin
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

How We Met And What Happened Next

A middle-aged New England lawyer, you were dressed like a cowboy. This, as much as anything else, underscored that it was over between us. A suede-fringe jacket. Snakeskin boots with stacked heels. An oversized Stetson. What, I said, no spurs?

By Judith Claire Mitchell
Fiction

America America

My granddaughter barely speaks. Her name is Effie, which in Greek means “well-spoken.” Maybe in Greece she would be. Names aren’t expected to match the person. If they were, we’d be named upon our death, when someone would have a stab in the dark at getting it right.

By Douglas Silver
Photography

American Cowboys

Many of these ranchers — private and skeptical of strangers — did not have the time or interest to share their lives with me. What was I doing here, and why could I possibly be interested in them?

Photographs By Anouk Masson Krantz
Photography

A Thousand Words

December 2021

A new feature in the magazine, A Thousand Words features photography so rich with narrative that it tells a story all on its own.

Photograph By Beth Rooney