Posted inBook Excerpts, SunLit

SunLit Excerpt: “Hurts” explores the hoop dreams of a complex high school sisterhood

“Hurts” From the short story collection “Mixed Company” Freshman year, Coach Sasser assigned Junebug, Isabel, and me to the junior varsity basketball team, where we wore the ill-fitting brown polyester uniforms of our high school, the Thomas Jefferson Spartans. On J.V. we were golden, thundering up and down the court with little form but much […]

Posted inBook Excerpts, SunLit

SunLit Excerpt: In “Alpha,” moments of calm before the Navy SEALs’ world changes

Editor’s note: This excerpt contains some profanity. The ring of vibrating brass Tibetan bowls filled the silent room. It flowed across sailors and Marines stretched out on their backs with their eyes closed. The ancient, wordless chorus of the bells played from a recording in the corner of the room, lapping at the present and […]

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 […]

Posted inBook Excerpts, SunLit

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 […]

Posted inBook Excerpts, SunLit

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 […]

Posted inBook Excerpts, SunLit

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 […]