Back in June, the New Yorker published a short story of Jonathan Safran Foer's entitled "Here We Aren't, So Quickly." The author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has published only a handful of short stories, but this particular one demonstrated neatly everything that makes Foer praise-worthy. Forget the frequent criticisms of his work being too fey or cute; Foer can be a real talent.
Witness that in a single story Foer charts the course of a relationship into the rocky terrain of marriage and parenthood in under 20 pages and within the strict confines of a form that sees the author ping-ponging back and forth between sentences that start with I and sentences that start with You. I.e., "You were too injured by things that happened in the distant past for anything to be effortless in the present." And then: "I was often not reading the book that I was holding." It's brilliant. (Recently, the New Yorker collected all the stories they'd published as part of their 20 Under 40 series in one volume: buy it.)
Etgar Keret, the Israeli author of The Girl on the Fridge, likes working with the short story, where form can be most elastic and odd. His fondness for weirdness combined with his predilection for curious forms make his pairing with JSF sensible.
Wednesday, Liev Schreiber (A View From The Bridge, Everything is Illuminated), Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) and B.D. Wong (Law & Order: SVU, M. Butterfly) will read from the work of these two prose magicians.