Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
By ZZ Packer
(Riverhead Hardcover, Hardcover, 9781573222341, 224pp.)
Publication Date: March 10, 2003
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With stories in The New Yorker's debut fiction issue and in The Best American Short Stories, 2000, and as the winner of a Whiting Writers' Award and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, ZZ Packer has already achieved what most writers only dream about-all prior to publication of her first book.
Now, in Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, her impressive range and talent are abundantly evident. Packer dazzles with her command of language-surprising and delighting us with unexpected turns and indelible images, as she takes us into the lives of characters on the periphery, unsure of where they belong. With penetrating insight that belies her youth-she was only nineteen years old when Seventeen magazine printed her first published story-Packer takes us to a Girl Scout camp, where a troupe of black girls are confronted with a group of white girls, whose defining feature turns out to be not their race but their disabilities; to the Million Man March on Washington, where a young man must decide where his allegiance to his father lies; to Japan, where an international group of drifters find themselves starving, unable to find work.
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere is a striking debut-fresh, versatile, and captivating. It introduces us to an arresting and unforgettable new American voice.
ZZ Packer is the author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (2003). Frequently published in such journals as�The New Yorker�and�Granta, she is at work on a novel,�The Thousands,�which explores the lives of former Louisiana slaves in forming a labor movement, as well as the fates of African-American "buffalo soldiers" assigned in the Southwest to battle the last Native American resistance force, the Apaches. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy in Berlin Prize and a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship. She has taught at many institutions including Princeton, where she was a Hodder Fellow; the Michener Center at the University of Texas; Vassar College; and as a Jones Lecturer at Stanford. She received her education at Yale (BA), Johns Hopkins� (MA), the University of Iowa (MFA), and Stanford as a Stegner Fellow.