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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

Great Expectations

Jennifer Senior On Modern Parenthood And Its Discontents

I was amazed to read about the New York City newsboys’ strike in 1899, which ultimately improved conditions and raised wages. You had these armies of seven-, eight-, and nine-year-olds bringing the entire newspaper business to its knees. They organized and won. Today we don’t even let our nine-year-olds go on the subway by themselves.

The Geography Of Sorrow

Francis Weller On Navigating Our Losses

The work of the mature person is to carry grief in one hand and gratitude in the other and to be stretched large by them. How much sorrow can I hold? That’s how much gratitude I can give.

It’s Her Choice

Katha Pollitt On The Struggle Over Abortion Rights

If one in three women has had an abortion, you can’t really talk about it as some rare practice indulged in only by particularly evil women. . . . What do you do with that one-third of women? . . . Put them in prison?

The Church Of The Gridiron

Steve Almond On How He Lost His Faith In Football

 So, yes, the NFL and NCAA have instituted stiff penalties for helmet-to-helmet hits and even redesigned kickoffs to reduce high-speed collisions. But, again, all of this only helps limit concussions. The problem is that the permanent brain injuries arise in part because of those subconcussive hits, the ones players receive nearly every single play, and there’s no way to engineer those out. The tackle will always be part of the game.

As We Lay Dying

Stephen Jenkinson On How We Deny Our Mortality

At every deathbed and hospital room, I didn’t see sane dying. I saw sedated dying, depressed dying, isolated dying, utterly disembodied dying. Sane dying would require a childhood steeped in death’s presence, an adulthood employed in its service, and an elderhood testifying to its necessity. Sane dying is a village-making event: lots of people with plenty to do, the whole production endorsing life.

The Mystic And The Warrior

Radical Priest Matthew Fox On Loving And Defending Our World

The mystic in us is the lover. The mystic says yes. But the prophet in us is the warrior, and the warrior says, “No, this is unjust. No, this is suffering that we can work to relieve.” That’s the rhythm of the mystic and the prophet, the lover and the warrior. It’s not enough to be one or the other.

Criminal Injustice

Maya Schenwar On The Failure Of Mass Incarceration

Prison deepened my sister’s addiction, crushed her self-esteem, narrowed her options for jobs and education, and diminished her hope for a good life. She was in a much worse situation each time she came out.

Beyond Their Years

Linda Kreger Silverman On Understanding Gifted Children

We say children are gifted when their intellectual ability is advanced beyond their age. A four-year-old girl who can pass all the items on an IQ test that an eight-year-old is expected to be able to do would obtain an IQ score in the 200 range. Children who are developmentally advanced are out of sync with their peers, and also out of sync with the expectations of teachers and parents, which leads to vulnerability. They need individualized education and counselors who understand how to work with these children.

The Molotov Cocktail Of The Imagination

David Mason On The Power Of Poetry

But getting back to your question about poetry and prose: Poetry, by moving from line to line, can create shades of meaning that prose can’t. So, whatever else it’s worth, poetry is valuable because it gives us a different experience of language. It gives us an experience that we cannot have by other means. And without that, we live a more impoverished life. I’ve been as moved by novels as I have been by poems, but I’ve been moved by poems in a different way. I’ve been brought to laughter and tears by a different route.

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Daniel E. Lieberman On How Civilization Makes Us Sick

There’s growing attention to the importance of nutrition and physical activity, which is a cause for hope, but my concern is that these trends are very much class driven. Wealthy people tend to be able to afford to be physically active and to eat healthy foods and to reduce stress and to get enough sleep and to stop smoking. There have always been disparities in health between classes, but I worry they are going to widen. Just as we have income inequality, we’re heading toward a world in which we see an increased burden of noninfectious chronic diseases in the lower classes.