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Mark Sundeen

Mark Sundeen is the author of five books, including The Unsettlers (Riverhead, 2017), The Man Who Quit Money (Riverhead, 2012),and The Making of Toro (Simon & Schuster, 2003). His work has been translated into seven languages. He holds the Russo Chair in Creative Writing at the University of New Mexico and teaches fiction and nonfiction at the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA Program. His most recent VQR contribution, “Beyond Empire’s Grip,” was listed as Notable Literary Nonfiction in The Best American Essays 2018


Holiday Review

Spring 2019 | Essays

We stayed one night at Karl’s place in Jimena de la Frontera in southern Spain. Let me begin with the PROs.

Construction by Gregory Euclide

Beyond Empire’s Grip

Winter 2017 | Articles

By the time the train approached the station, night had fallen. Sarah Wilcox gathered her bags and descended the stairs to the luggage rack. Her husband, Ethan Hughes, helped slide an unwieldy cardboard box toward the door. The steel floor rocked beneath her shoes. The conductor’s voice crackled over the loudspeaker: “This is not a smoking stop, folks. Unless this is your final destination, please stay on board the train. The next smoking stop will be Kansas City.” Sarah peered out the window but saw only her reflection. She turned to the woman beside her.

“Are you from here?”

The woman said she was.

“Can you see the stars here?”

“Oh, yes,” said the woman. “They’re beautiful.”