Two of America’s masters of the short story are reading here over consecutive days:
* Today Junot Diaz reads at Harold Washington Library. Diaz broke onto the scene in 1996 with Drown (listen to an excerpt here), a series of stories about a Dominican teen growing up in New Jersey, then remained relatively quiet for a decade before coming out with his debut novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which got a rave from the NYT.
* Tomorrow George Saunders reads from his first nonfiction work, the essay collection The Braindead Megaphone, at Borders on State and Barnes & Noble in Evanston. Saunders fleshes out the book a bit on his Amazon blog. Jason Kottke has a short take.
Saunders, who grew up on the south side, debuted with Civilwarland in Bad Decline, which is a stone classic of American literature, though it’s reminiscent in tone of the darkly comic fables of the great Eastern European and Russian writers. Saunders fans may also enjoy the contemporary Russian satire of Victor Pelevin.