The MacArthur Genius grants were just announced. One of them went to Junot Diaz, whom you will hear discussed today by me and short story writer Nathan Englander. So we're one degree of Kevin Bacon removed from a genius grant.
On Thursday, we'll have an actual genius grant winner in studio on Thursday. Chris Thile, from the Punch Brothers, was this year's youngest winner. He thought it was a crank call. Today's guests could just as easily have wound up on the list. Nathan Englander, with his second collection of short stories, has vaulted to the front ranks of people working in that form. He's also branched out, working on a translation of the New American Haggadah with Jonathan Safran Foer and a play, The Twenty-Seventh Man. Englander will appear at Renbrook School with Colin McEnroe on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. Leave your comments below, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.