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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

The Way Of The Hunter

An Interview With Richard Nelson

I visited Richard Nelson last January on a small island near his home in southeastern Alaska. Though we were in the middle of a dark, cold, wet winter, Nelson was out hiking, surfing, hunting, and exploring the coast. I followed along with as little complaint as possible, pausing to join him for an occasional peanut-butter-and-salmonberry sandwich or a candy bar, and then moving on.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Gifts Of Deer

I can’t help feeling a little anxious, because the season is drawing short and our year’s supply of meat is not yet in. During the past few weeks, deer have been unusually wary, haunting the underbrush and slipping away at the least disturbance. I’ve come near a few, but these were young ones I stalked only for the luxury of seeing them from close range. Now that the rutting season has begun, there’s a good chance of finding larger deer, and they’ll be distracted by the search for mates.

When The Bough Breaks

On our way to the rally, I glance at my daughters. It’s hard to imagine one of them pregnant, but I have a keen imagination. I picture her starting to tell me, or being too ashamed. Lying awake that night, or crying herself to sleep.



Maybe six years ago, my brother called me from clear across the country to tell me that at thirty-nine, he had finally figured out what he really wanted to do. I was happy for him. It had been a long, nasty haul and he deserved a little peace — which, as he told me in his thin, tight voice, was sitting in a rocking chair by the window of his second-story bedroom, in the old farmhouse he’d bought, and taking shots at a three-pound coffee can. It was a .22 rifle and the coffee had chicory in it. When I asked him what brand, so maybe I could picture it, he said he didn’t know and, what’s more, it didn’t matter.

Moving In

As I walk along these cold floors to your room I hear the sweep of my nightgown sliding like a breeze through my aching legs. I am tired, Hanna, worn out from carrying too many boxes into this borrowed home full of someone else’s love for the color green. Why are you calling me now? Even the radiators have finally stopped the hissing that reminded me of angry cats and babies and the fact I am in bed alone. All that guides me is the pink of your night light shining down this hallway, which has yet to see the tracks we will burn each night.

Don’t Take It Personally

“Go on up there and sing the hell out of that song, Shiffler,” Marva said, and then she hugged me, and I could feel the underside of her breasts brushing my shoulders.

Readers Write


My mother was visiting. She walked out of the kitchen and said, “Did you know you had a piece of spaghetti stuck to the wall over the stove? I scraped it off for you.”

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


Monkeys are superior to men in this: when a monkey looks into a mirror, he sees a monkey.

Malcolm de Chazal

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