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About the Writer
* Interview
If You Like ZZ Packer
You'll Like...
*Anthony Doerr
*Alice Munro
*Richard Russo
*Carol Shields
Meet the Writers

Image of 
									ZZ PackerZZ Packer
Named one of the writers to watch in Book magazine's special "Newcomers" issue, ZZ Packer is quickly becoming known as a literary wunderkind with a talent for writing short fiction that goes a long way, as is evident in her debut collection, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere.

* Read the interview

Fact File

ZZ Packer
Also Known As:
Zuwena Packer (birth name)
Current Home:
Pacifica, California
Date of Birth:
January 12, 1973
Place of Birth:
Chicago, Illinois
B.A., Yale University, 1994; M.A., Johns Hopkins University, 1995; M.F.A., University of Iowa, 1999
Rona Jaffe Writers Foundation Grant, 1997; Ms. Giles Whiting Award, 1999; Bellingham Review Award for the short story “Brownies,” 1999

Our Book Club Pick

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, Author: 
								ZZ Packer.

Our Price: $ 12.40
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Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
by ZZ Packer
In Packer's debut collection of short fiction, settings range from a racially divided Girl Scout camp to the Million Man March on Washington to a bohemian expedition in Japan. In each case, Packer's vivid vignettes capture poignant slices of very different lives. As The New York Times Book Review observed, "Young writers, naturally enough, write about young characters. Drinking Coffee Elsewhere is not really limited by this. Instead, there is a sense of a talented writer testing and pushing at those limits, ringing as many changes as possible within her fictional world. It is a world already populated by clamoring, sorrowing, eminently knowable people, and with the promise of more to come."

*  More Book Club Picks

Packer's Perspective

In her interview for their special "Newcomers" issue, Packer told Book magazine that a recurring theme of her life -- and her stories -- is a feeling of not belonging. "Someone, I don't remember who, said, 'I always write about my own experience, even if it never happened to me,' " Packer reflects. "And that's how I feel."

*  See all Book magazine Newcomers

Early Inspiration

Favorite Writers and Reads

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Beloved, Author: 
								Toni Morrison.

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by Toni Morrison
"Few living authors are able to write in such a way as to give me the shivers," Packer observed in her interview with Barnes & "I loved The Bluest Eye, but it was only while reading Beloved that I knew without a doubt that I was in the presence of greatness."

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Author: 
								Mark Twain.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
On her list of all-time favorite books, Packer included Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ("funny, sad, irreverent, and most of all, a good read") and Michael Cunningham's The Hours ("How long had it been since anything made me stay up all night and read to the very end?"). Read our interview to find out more about Packer's favorite writers and reads, including:

*War and Peace  by Leo Tolstoy
*Invisible Man  by Ralph Ellison
*Dog Soldiers  by Robert A. Stone
*Elbow Room: Stories  by James Alan McPherson
*Find out more in our interview with Packer
Photo by Hank Thomas