Posted inBook Excerpts, SunLit

SunLit Excerpt: “The Mike File” reveals one family’s story of a boy lost to the mental health system

(Stephen Trimble’s memoir, The Mike File: A Story of Grief and Hope, tells the story of his brother, Mike, committed to the Colorado State Hospital in Pueblo in 1957, after sequential diagnoses of “retardation,” schizophrenia, and epilepsy. The author was 6, Mike was 14. Mike never lived at home again.  In this excerpt, Mike has […]

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SunLit Excerpt: “Breath, Suspended” charts in poetry the depths of a mother’s grief

This Face You sit in a glass-walled officeat the morgue in Mexico City,studying a cadaver photographof a face you love. You are tryingto convince the coroneryou know this face,this young man who was smilingthe last time you saw him.In your face she has glimpseda blankness, a momentaryrefusal to acknowledgethat the photograph depictsyour son. You barely […]

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Sunlit Excerpt: “Saving Yellowstone” views an iconic landscape through lens of Reconstruction, national expansion

Prologue Lost The  Cut,  Montana  Territory.  October  1870. The dog stopped along the trail ahead of him, growling. Yellowstone Jack Baronett reined in his horse and dismounted, taking his gun from the saddle. He soon saw what had captured the dog’s attention: an animal was dragging itself slowly up the side of the Cut, a […]

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SunLit Excerpt: “Pieces of Everyone, Everywhere” digs deep, but carefully, into Denver history

Excerpted from “Pieces of Everyone, Everywhere” by Cynthia Swanson, copyright 2022 by Cynthia Swanson, included in the anthology “Denver Noir ” edited by Cynthia Swanson. Used with permission of the author and Akashic Books (akashicbooks.com). “Denver Noir” is available May 3. Cheesman Park Digging graves is straightforward labor, involving little more than brute strength and a sufficiently […]

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SunLit Excerpt: “Gone to Darkness” begins with a fog-shrouded mystery by the tracks

Chapter 1 To hell with their laws and restrictions. You have a great and wise heart, Sydney Rose. And that makes for a much better guide to what’s wrong and what’s right. —Effie “Grams” Parnell. Private conversation. My first official homicide investigation began without a corpse.  An actual body is what triggers a murder case. […]

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SunLit Excerpt: “Hanging Falls” begins with the requisite body, but also veers into family matters

Friday morning, mid-July  A stitch in her side plagued Deputy Mattie Cobb as she jogged uphill, telling her that her level of anxiety and this form of exercise didn’t mix. Running in the Colorado high country around Timber Creek had soothed her for years, but not today. Her mind kept jumping back to the one […]