Issue 272 | The Sun Magazine

August 1998

Readers Write

My Chair

The reading chair, the smiley chair, the saddle chair

By Our Readers


The media transforms the great silence of things into its opposite.

Michel de Certeau

The Sun Interview

Telling Stories

How Television Skews Our View Of Society, And Ourselves — An Interview With George Gerbner

The notion that exposure to violence incites violence is itself media-driven. Exposure actually does something much worse than incite violence: it cultivates a sense of insecurity and dependence that makes people submit to indignities no human being should ever have to bear.

By Derrick Jensen
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Like A Leaf In Autumn

A Reconsideration Of The Good Death Of Scott Nearing

Although from the very beginning I noticed occasional inconsistencies in Helen’s account of Scott’s death, I assumed they were simply the internal equivalent of the way different witnesses remember different versions of an accident. Only, in Helen’s case, the versions differed over time, rather than from witness to witness.

By Ellen LaConte
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Memories Of Chengdu

At first I thought it was something in my head, like a dream you can’t shake during the day, or a memory of something that hasn’t happened. Something akin to madness, I reasoned. So I consulted a therapist.

By Michele Leonard

Warja’s Feast

I was struggling to open a can of powdered milk with a pocketknife when Kombate clapped his hands outside the window of my house and called, “Mademoiselle! Mademoiselle!”

By Laura Herbst

The Illustrated Diary Of Doris Koppleman

Only about half the number of people come to Ma’s funeral as to Dad’s. And Paul didn’t even bother to show up. I might have been madder if he did, anyways. At church Father Dietz didn’t have much to say about her. A woman’s life is not worth as much as a man’s, especially on a farm.

By Sara Belleau


Marcus and I agreed to share parenting equally, splitting our child in half like a Georgia watermelon. We flipped a coin for the first month: three out of five. I won. Tonight, my month alone with Lee is over; Marcus is scheduled to pick him up at seven.

By Emmy Liston

We Domesticated Plants And Animals

And we’re still staggering like oxen laden / with too many wine barrels: what to do with all this time? // We were little more than plants or animals ourselves, / scratching in the dirt like chickens. Find, eat, find, eat.

By Anne Giles Rimbey

They Leave You Here Alone In The Dark

When I was 4 years old they put me in the hospital / to remove my tonsils and adenoids. / The night after they operated / I could not sleep so I got up // and I wandered down the huge corridor, / nobody in sight, and I came to 2 big doors / so I went through them and that is when / I first heard the sound of real pain

By Red Hawk

Anniversary Of My Father’s Death

For you, Dad, I turn on the ballgame. // It doesn’t matter which game, exactly, / does it? // So familiar, the way you spent the long hours / of your freedom, soaking up the drama, huge / warrior men in combat, lifting themselves / out of the mud

By Lou Lipsitz