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, & 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, & 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, & 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