Issue 417 | The Sun Magazine

September 2010

Readers Write


Waist-length reddish hair, Miss America, a broken nose

By Our Readers
The Dog-Eared Page

excerpted from
Break Of Day

Now that little by little I am beginning to age, and little by little taking on her likeness in the mirror, I wonder whether, if she were to return, she would recognize me for her daughter, in spite of the resemblance of our features. She might if she came back at break of day and found me up and alert in a sleeping world, awake as she used to be, and I often am, before everyone.

By Colette


If you’re alive, you got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you’re quiet, you’re not living.

Mel Brooks

The Sun Interview

Quiet, Please

Gordon Hempton On The Search For Silence In A Noisy World

Certainly people have their preferences regarding music and other sounds they like to listen to, but I do believe there is an “ideal” soundscape, and I’ve given it a name: “sonesia.” It includes the sounds of wildlife, such as songbirds. It includes the gentle sound of insects and the sound of distant water. (Up close, rushing water can mask the other sonic elements of the environment.) All of these sounds are indicative of grassland, a savannah. That’s where humans evolved, along with songbirds, which are the best indicator of an environment’s suitability for human prosperity: where songbirds live, there is also sufficient food for humans.

By Leslee Goodman
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

There’s No Such Thing As A Free Association

As children of a psychoanalyst, my brothers and I were brought up with three basic beliefs: everything has some deeper significance, there is no such thing as an accident, and never buy retail.

By Lad Tobin
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Across The River

Before the war you actually had to ask people’s names to know who they were. Now you can just observe what side of the river they live on. On the east side are the Bosniaks — Muslim citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the west are Croats, Catholic by faith. The two groups split my hometown of Mostar down the middle like an overripe pomegranate.

By Nikolina Kulidžan

The Clothes He Wore

Normally I wouldn’t have found them, because I am an exceptionally lazy housekeeper. Or maybe I’m not so much lazy as inept. I discovered in my teens that if you didn’t know how to do housework, you wouldn’t have to do it, and now that I’m living on my own and have to do it, I don’t know how. Anyway, one summer morning I had the day off. I woke up, saw my messy flat as if for the first time, and got a shock.

By Josie Charlotte Jackson

The World In Red

Floreta Cook buried her husband, Cookie, in the Questa Cemetery in New Mexico. It was a good cemetery. Cookie had always admired it. He liked the sign on the gate saying to watch out for snakes, and the cemetery grounds were bright with wreaths and saints. Cookie had believed in all the saints and gods and had seen patterns everywhere. To Floreta life was chaos, apocalypse probably just around the corner.

By Theresa Williams

For Madeleine, In Another June

I was wrong: a day came / when I didn’t think of you.

By Dave Lucas

Cold Solace

When my mother died, / one of her honey cakes remained in the freezer.

By Anna Belle Kaufman