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Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Empty Sky

Reflections On 09.11.01

The Sun doesn’t usually report on current events, but September’s terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. marked a turning point for all of us. We put out a call to our writers, inviting them to reflect on the tragedy and its aftermath. The response was overwhelming. As word got around, we received submissions not only from regular contributors but from writers who are new to The Sun’s pages.

By Steve Almond , Jessica Anya Blau , David Budbill , Michelle Cacho-Negrete , Peter Coyote , Stephen Elliott , Martha Gies , Gillian Kendall , Dulcie Leimbach , Alison Luterman , Stephen J. Lyons , Pat MacEnulty , Michael Matkin , Lorenzo W. Milam , Alyce Miller , Al Neipris , Elissa Nelson , Susan Parker , Leslie Pietrzyk , Rebecca Seiferle , Alix Kates Shulman , Sparrow , Michael Ventura & Genie Zeiger November 2001
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.

October 2001

New Courses

The Tao of Toast: In this workshop, participants will learn to brown toast, butter it, and eat it. A continuation, “What to Do with the Crumbs,” will be offered later this summer.

By Sparrow February 1996
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Conjuring Tibet

Turning youths loose on actual or possible dissidents was probably the shrewdest and cruelest of Maoist strategies. Here were True Believers, lacking life experience to complicate their thoughts, still endowed with the primal cruelty of children. Having internalized the rhetoric of the Cultural Revolution, they were empowered to indulge in any form of torture, from breast amputation to castration, secure in the righteousness of their cause.

By Charlotte Painter October 1993


The winds of grace blow all the time. All we need to do is set our sails.


January 1983
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

And That’s The Way It Is?

For a while, several years ago, I stopped watching the TV news. This was no small thing. I was in the habit of watching all three networks, often at the same time, spinning the dial with the finesse of an accomplished musician running scales on his favorite instrument.

By David Searls May 1980
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Flying And Diving, Shucking and Jiving — There Is No Other Life But This, But What Is This?

Susan says she is not a religious person, but she has a high regard for religion, and she doesn’t like to see it downgraded or made fun of. And Saul Alinsky, a Chicago “social activist” said that “Seeing is Believing” should be taken a lot more literally.

By Amey Miller June 1974