ZZ Packer at the 2009 Texas Book Festival.
January 12, 1973
Chicago, Illinois, United States
ZZ Packer (born January 12, 1973 Chicago, Illinois) is an American writer of short fiction.
ZZ Packer grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and Louisville, Kentucky. "ZZ" was a childhood nickname; her given name is Zuwena (Swahili for "good", Arabic dialect for "beautiful"). She was recognized as a talented writer at an early age, publishing in Seventeen magazine at the age of 19. Packer is a 1990 graduate of Seneca High School, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Packer attended Yale University, where she received a BA in 1994. Her graduate work included an MA at Johns Hopkins University in 1995 and an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop of the University of Iowa in 1999, where she was mentored by James Alan McPherson.
Her work was first published in the Debut Fiction issue of The New Yorker in 2000. Her short story in the issue became the title story in her collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. As Publishers Weekly put it, "this debut short story collection is getting the highest of accolades from the New York Times, Harper's, the New Yorker and most every other branch of the literary criticism tree."
"ZZ Packer’s Drinking Coffee Elsewhere is taught in creative writing courses across the country and with good reason. This short story collection is brimming with characters who are striving to find themselves, to understand themselves, and to survive", comments Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Colson Whitehead.
Packer is currently working on a novel set during Reconstruction in the aftermath of the Civil War: "The subject is the Buffalo Soldiers; blacks who left the South, Louisiana in this case, and traveled to the West. You don't hear much about blacks in the West and I became really fascinated by them. I thought to justify my interest I had better write about them." A short excerpt from the novel was published in The New Yorker magazine's "20 under 40" issue. She has been regularly contributing to The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker.
|2003||Drinking Coffee Elsewhere|
|2000||Best American Short Stories 2000|
|2003||Best American Short Stories 2003|
|2008||New Stories from the South: The Year's Best|
|2015||100 Years of the Best American Short Stories|
|2000||Drinking Coffee Elsewhere||The New Yorker|
|2002||The Ant of the Self||The New Yorker|
|2002||Every Tongue Shall Confess||Ploughshares|
|2002||The Stranger||The Washington Post Magazine|
|2004||Derby Pie||The New York Times Magazine|
|2004||An Interview with John Kerry||The Believer Magazine|
|2004||I Was Black, and I Told Her||O, The Oprah Magazine|
|2004||Losing My Religion||Salon|
|2005||'Dr. King's Refrigerator': Thinking Outside the Icebox||The New York Times Magazine|
|2005||Sorry, Not Buying||The American Prospect|
|2007||Pita Delicious||The Washington Post Magazine|
|2007||The Finishing Party: ZZ Packer's Writing Group||O, The Oprah Magazine|
|2008||I want Obama to be daily proof that race is no barrier||The Guardian|
|2008||Saved to ‘Drafts’||Granta|
|2008||Working the Reunion||The New York Times Magazine|
|2009||No Polenta, No Cry||The New York Times Magazine|
|2009||Remembering Updike: ZZ Packer||The New Yorker|
|2009||A Finished Revolution?||The Oxford American|
|2009||Confessions of a Shopaholic's Wife||Glamour|
|2010||Dayward||The New Yorker|
|2011||Ferraro's Barack Problem||HuffPost|
|2012||Keeping it Weird in Austin, Texas||Smithsonian|
|2013||It's Beyoncé's World and We're Just Living In It||Newsweek|
|2017||Trump Talk: Your Translation Guide||The New Yorker|
|2017||What to Expect When You're Expecting Fascism||The New Yorker|
|2018||News of an ‘Outrage’ Used to Mean Something Very, Very Different||The New York Times Magazine|
|2018||When Is ‘Civility’ a Duty, and When Is It a Trap?||The New York Times Magazine|
|2019||July 30, 1866||The New York Times Magazine|
|2019||Truth And Fiction||Port Magazine|
|2020||Preacher of the New Antiracist Gospel||GQ|
|2020||Sarah Cooper Doesn't Mimic Trump. She Exposes Him.||The New York Times Magazine|
|2020||The Empty Facts of the Breonna Taylor Decision||The New Yorker|
|1997||Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award||Winner|
|1999||Bellingham Review Award||Winner|
|2003||Commonwealth Club of California Award||Winner|
|2006||5 under 35 honoree by the National Book Foundation|
|2007||America's Best Young Novelists by Granta|
|2007||Smithsonian Magazine's Young Innovators|
|2010||The New Yorker magazine's "20 under 40" luminary fiction writers.|
|2007||Writer-in-Residence at the Tulane University English Department Creative Writing Program|
|2008||Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at San Jose State University.|
|2008||Creative Writing Faculty at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin|
|2009||Writer-in-Residence at Vassar College|
|2010||Visiting Professor of Creative Writing in the MFA Program of Creative Writing at Texas State University|
|2011||Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa|
|2012||Visiting Assistant Professor in English and Creative Writing at University of Houston|
|2013||Create Writing Assistant Professor at SFSU|
|2015||Creative Writing Visiting Faculty at MIT|
|2020||Creative Writing MFA Program at CUNY's Hunter College|
|2005||National Endowment for the Arts Grant|
|2005||Montalvo Arts Center Lucas Artists Fellowship|
|2007||San Francisco Writers' Grotto Fellowship|
|2010||Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University|
|2013||Dobie Paisano Fellowship|
|2014||Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard University|
|2018||W. E. B. Du Bois Institute Fellowship at Harvard University|
|2018||Montalvo Arts Center Lucas Artists Fellowship|
|2019||Montalvo Arts Center Lucas Artists Fellowship|
|2020||Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs Fellowship at Brown University.|
- "Drinking Coffee Elsewhere", Barnes & Noble.
- "10 Books Recommended by Pulitzer Prize Winners". www.bookbub.com.
- Daniel Robert Epstein, "ZZ Packer author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere" (interview), Suicide Girls, July 19, 2004.
- ZZ Packer, "Dayward", The New Yorker, June 14, 2010.
- The Best American Short Stories 2000
- Best American Short Stories 2003
- David Austin Gura, "ZZ Packer's edition of Southern stories straddles old and new Dixie", Indy Week. August 20, 2008.
- "Review: '100 Years of Best American Short Stories' is vital yet flawed for loading the canon". Los Angeles Times. 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "[Fiction] Brownies, By ZZ Packer". Harper's Magazine. 1999-11-01. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- Packer, Z. Z. "Drinking Coffee Elsewhere". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- Packer, Z. Z. "The Ant of the Self". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "Fall 2002 | Ploughshares". www.pshares.org. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- Packer, Z. Z. (2002-07-14). "The Stranger". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "Derby Pie (Published 2004)". www.nytimes.com. 2004-10-17. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "An Interview with John Kerry". Believer Magazine. 2004-10-01. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "O Magazine".
- "Losing my religion". Salon. 2004-11-21. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "'Dr. King's Refrigerator': Thinking Outside the Icebox (Published 2005)". www.nytimes.com. 2005-03-06. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- Packer, Z. Z. (2005-11-20). "Sorry, Not Buying". The American Prospect. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "Buffalo Soldiers". Granta. 2007-04-16. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "Washington post".
- Packer, Z. Z. (2007-10-06). "Short story: Gideon by ZZ Packer". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "O Magazine".
- "Saved to 'Drafts'". Granta. 2008-11-04. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "Working the Reunion (Published 2008)". www.nytimes.com. 2008-06-01. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "No Polenta, No Cry (Published 2009)". www.nytimes.com. 2009-10-08. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- Packer, Z. Z. "Remembering Updike: ZZ Packer". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "Issue 64, Spring 2009". www.oxfordamerican.org. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "Real Women's Money Dramas". Glamour. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- Packer, Z. Z. "Dayward". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- Andrew Foster Altschul (2008-03-15). "ZZ Packer Takes on Geraldine Ferraro". HuffPost. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "Keeping it Weird in Austin, Texas". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- Packer, ZZ (2013-02-15). "It's Beyoncé's World and We're Just Living In It". Newsweek. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- Packer, Z. Z. "Trump Talk: Your Translation Guide". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- Packer, Z. Z. "What to Expect When You're Expecting Fascism". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "News of an 'Outrage' Used to Mean Something Very, Very Different (Published 2018)". www.nytimes.com. 2018-05-23. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "When Is 'Civility' a Duty, and When Is It a Trap? (Published 2018)". www.nytimes.com. 2018-11-28. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- Ward, Jesmyn; Jenkins, Barry; Dove, Rita (2019-08-14). "A New Literary Timeline of African-American History (Published 2019)". www.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "Port Magazine, Truth and Fiction".
- Packer, Z. Z. "What Happens to a Professor When His Theory of Anti-Racism Goes Mainstream?". GQ. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "Sarah Cooper Doesn't Mimic Trump. She Exposes Him". www.nytimes.com. 2020-06-25. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- Packer, Z. Z. "The Empty Facts of the Breonna Taylor Decision". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "ZZ Packer". www.whiting.org. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "Commonwealth Club awards" (PDF).
- "2004 Alex Awards". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). 2007-07-30. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "5 Under 35 Archives". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- http://www.granta.com/Magazine/97October 2007
- Tessa Decarlo, "Comedienne of Manners", Smithsonian magazine, October 2007.
- Bosman, Julie (2010-06-02). "20 Young Writers Earn the Envy of Many Others". The New York Times.
- "Francine Prose Debuts New Story During Tulane Visit", Creative Writing at Tulane, February 25, 2009.
- "Visiting Writers", San Jose State University.
- "ZZ Packer", University of Texas, Austin
- "- English Department - Vassar College". english.vassar.edu.
- "People | Iowa Writers' Workshop | College of Liberal Arts & Sciences | The University of Iowa". writersworkshop.uiowa.edu.
- "New non-tenure track faculty join CLASS". www.uh.edu. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "SFSU" (PDF).
- "Ten New Faculty Appointments Join Hunter | Hunter College". hunter.cuny.edu. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "Former Stegner Fellows | Creative Writing Program". creativewriting.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "ZZ Packer - Artist". MacDowell. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "Montalvo Arts Center | ZZ Packer". montalvoarts.org. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "News" Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine, Grotto.
- ZZ Packer - 2010 Hodder Fellow, Lewis Center, Princeton.
- "Previous Fellows | Dobie Paisano Fellowship | The University of Texas at Austin". dobiepaisano.utexas.edu. Retrieved 2020-12-06.
- "ZZ Packer". Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. April 22, 2014.
- "Announcing the 2018-2019 Fellows". hutchinscenter.fas.harvard.edu.
- "Senior Fellows | Watson Institute". Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.