Issue 310 | The Sun Magazine

October 2001

Readers Write


A father’s shoes, a forgotten padlock, the surest method

By Our Readers
Sy Safransky's Notebook

October 2001

I realized that this is what so often happens when we come face to face with some unimaginable horror: we run for help, but no one believes us. No one believes how many species are disappearing, how many prisoners are being tortured, how many women are being broken by self-important men.

By Sy Safransky


The dollar sign is the only sign in which the modern man appears to have any real faith.

Helen Rowland

Special Section

September 11, 2001

A Special Sunbeams Supplement

On September 11, 2001, our staff gathered around a radio and listened incredulously to the news that terrorists had attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Someone rushed home to get an old TV. We fashioned an antenna from a coat hanger, and through the snow and static emerged the images that would grow so appallingly familiar in the days to come.

The Sun Interview

The New Slavery

An Interview With Kevin Bales

Slaves are so cheap that they’re not even seen as a capital investment anymore: you don’t have to take care of them; you can just use them up and throw them away. Human beings have become disposable tools for doing business, the same as a box of ballpoint pens.

By Derrick Jensen
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Seymour’s Last Dollar

I knew Seymour owed money because I’d heard snatches of tense conversations from the bedroom, and I felt the aura of fear about loan sharks that surrounded my stepdad — and now, by association, my family. I kept a sharp eye out for swarthy men in suits and sunglasses carrying Louisville Sluggers.

By Stephen J. Lyons
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Visiting Ruth

My mother, Ruth, is a flower closing. Her belly button is the center, the point around which the collapse occurs, limbs drawing in. Her shoulders are compressed forward. There is the hump of her upper back. The matching curl of her knees when she sits in her wheelchair or lies on her side in bed. The pale feet, which she cannot move. At the center of her body, death is pulling on a cord, gathering her in and down.

By Genie Zeiger
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Rivers We Call Ourselves

At every step, the brook changes; it becomes deep or shallow, wide or narrow, silent and frozen or splashing over logs and stones. I see now that we are like that water, carving our experience into life’s terrain.

By Sarah Silbert
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

My Father’s Bartenders

The girls who poured my father’s gin-and-tonics were slim, brown-eyed beauties, quick to wipe up his spills, freshen his drinks, and smile at his wisecracks. They looked nothing like him, and they asked for nothing from him. Maria worked in the city bar, where my father drank in the afternoons, and Debbie worked in the suburban bar, where my father drank in the evenings.

By Elizabeth Bales Frank

I Am Bangkok Ut

Sawadeekah. I am Ut. Number 32.” I have been saying this for two years now. Two longlonglong years. Enough to grow a callus in my private part.

By Tinling Choong

The Man Who Found You In The Woods

She was not defying his judgment, but asking him to consider, for a moment, her own. You must come, she said. You must. For the first time in the seven years he’d owned her, Nathan obeyed his dog. He came when she called him.

By Catherine Ryan Hyde