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ZZ Packer

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ZZ Packer

American author ZZ Packer became a celebrated name in contemporary literature with the publication of her short story collection, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (2003). The collection of eight stories explores themes such as coming-of-age, sexual innocence, race, and identity, and showcases the author's characteristically frank, often humorous writing style. Drinking Coffee Elsewhere was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and won an Alex Award from the American Library Association.

ZZ Packer Biography

Zuwena "ZZ" Packer was born in Chicago, Illinois, on January 12th, 1973. Early on, ZZ became Packer's childhood nickname. When she was five years old, Packer moved with her family to Atlanta, Georgia. Some years later, following her parents' divorce, she moved again with her mother and younger sister to Louisville, Kentucky.

Packer excelled in school and graduated from Seneca High School in 1990. She was awarded a scholarship to study at Yale University, where she intended to study engineering. Once in school, however, Packer decided to change her major to English. She graduated from Yale with a BA in 1994.

ZZ Packer, Yale University, StudySmarterZZ Packer received a scholarship to study at Yale University. Pixabay.

The following year, she completed an MA at John Hopkins University and spent the next two years teaching public high school. Packer then returned to higher education and, in 1999, she graduated from the University of Iowa's Writer's Workshop with her MFA in creative writing.

Packer then received a Stegner Fellowship to study at Stanford University.

In 2000, Packer's short story "Drinking Coffee Elsewhere" was published in The New Yorker's Debut Fiction issue. The story would become the title piece of the collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, which was published in 2003. The collection of eight short stories won an Alex Award, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and earned Packer a spot on the National Book Award's 2006 5 Under 35 program.

Since the publication of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, Packer has taught creative writing at numerous institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, the University of Iowa, and MIT.

Her short stories and essays have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Granta, Smithsonian, Harper's, and many more.

Packer has two sons and is reportedly at work on a historical novel set in the United States that tells the story of the Buffalo Soldiers during the Reconstruction period.

ZZ Packer: Books and Published Works

ZZ Packer has published one book, a collection of short stories, as well as numerous individual short stories and essays.

ZZ Packer's Short Stories

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (2003) is a collection of eight short stories, all of which previously appeared in magazines or other publications. The stories are set in various locations, including a Girl Scout Camp, Tokyo, Japan, and Yale University. They also feature a variety of protagonists, including an inner-city school teacher, a fourteen-year-old girl who befriends a prostitute and a hustler, and a young man whose father abandons him during the 1995 Million Man March.

Themes in Drinking Coffee Elsewhere include coming-of-age, sexual innocence, race and identity, and the need for group membership and belonging.

ZZ Packer, coffee and notebook, StudySmarterDrinking Coffee Elsewhere is the name of Packer's debut short story collection as well as the name of one of the stories. Pixabay.

The stories that makeupDrinking Coffee Elsewhere first appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and Harper's Magazine. The book won an Alex Award from the American Library Association, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and was included as a reading for the Today Show's book club.

Packer's short stories have also been included in the anthologies Best American Short Stories (2000 and 2003), New Stories from the South: The Year's Best (2008), and 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories (2015).

ZZ Packer's Novel

ZZ Packer has not yet published any novels. Since the publication of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, she has been at work on a project about the Buffalo Soldiers, the African-American regiments of the US Army. The novel is reportedly set in the post-Civil War United States during Reconstruction.

Following the Civil War, regiments of African-American soldiers were sent to the Western frontier. Their job there was mainly to control the Native American population. This included keeping the peace on the reservations as well as participating in the American Indian Wars as the United States continued to expand westward. These African-American soldiers came to be known as the Buffalo Soldiers by the Native American population.

ZZ Packer's Essays

ZZ Packer has published a variety of essays and opinion pieces in various magazines and newspapers. These essays cover many different topics. Her 2008 piece in The Guardian, "I want Obama to be daily proof that race is no barrier," details the writer's thoughts on the recently elected president Obama. A 2009 piece in The New York Times Magazine, "No Polenta, No Cry," reveals Packer's strange, post-diet eating habits. A 2017 piece in The New Yorker, "What to Expect When You're Expecting Fascism," satirizes the names of best-selling books as if former president Donald Trump wrote them.

In addition to the publication mentioned above, Packer's work has appeared in GQ, Glamour, HuffPost, Newsweek, and more.

ZZ Packer Writing Style

ZZ Packer's writing style is known for being candid and straightforward. Her stories are often humorous and use informal language. They are set in a range of periods and locations, and many of her characters are young people who are outsiders or social misfits. Packer's characters challenge stereotypes, and her frank, provocative treatment of themes like race and discrimination makes her writing relevant to today's world.

Z. Z. Packer - Key takeaways

  • ZZ Packer was born on January 12th, 1973.
  • Packer holds degrees from Yale University, John Hopkins University, and Iowa University.
  • She is best known for her short story collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, published in 2003.
  • Packer has been published in many publications, including The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Guardian, HuffPost, and Harper's Magazine.
  • ZZ Packer has taught creative writing at institutions across the country, including the University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, the University of Iowa, and MIT.

Frequently Asked Questions about ZZ Packer

ZZ Packer is best known for her short stories, including the collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (2003).

ZZ Packer has published one collection of short stories titled Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (2003).

ZZ Packer has been teaching creative writing at institutions across the United States. She is reportedly at work on her first novel, which is a piece of historical fiction.

ZZ Packer is an American writer and the author of the short story collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (2003).

ZZ Packer graduated from Yale University with her BA. She later received an MA from John Hopkins University and an MFA from the University of Iowa's Writer's Workshop.

Final ZZ Packer Quiz

Question

What is ZZ Packer's full name?

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Answer

Zuwena Packer

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Where was ZZ Packer born?

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Answer

Chicago, Illinois

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Has ZZ Packer published a novel?

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Answer

No

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Question

What is the name of ZZ Packer's collection of short stories?

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Answer

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

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Question

How many stories are included in Drinking Coffee Elsewhere?

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Answer

Eight

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Question

True or false? ZZ Packer has published essays in publications such as The New Yorker, GQ, and The Guardian?

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Answer

True

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Question

From which university did ZZ Packer receive her undergraduate degree?

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Answer

Yale University

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What did ZZ Packer initially intend to study in college?

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Answer

Engineering

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How many children does ZZ Packer have?

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Answer

Two

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Question

In what period is ZZ Packer's forthcoming novel set?

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Answer

Reconstruction

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