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ZZ Packer

Författare till Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

5+ verk 1,470 medlemmar 35 recensioner 4 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

ZZ Packer's stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, and Story. Packer is a recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. A graduate of Yale, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Writing Seminar at Johns Hopkins University, she has been a Wallace Stegner visa mer -- Truman Capote fellow at Stanford University, where she is currently a Jones lecturer. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area visa färre

Inkluderar namnet: ZZ Packer

Foto taget av: Larry D. Moore

Verk av ZZ Packer

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (2003) 1,413 exemplar, 33 recensioner
New Stories from the South 2008: The Year's Best (2008) — Redaktör — 50 exemplar, 2 recensioner
Gideon 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story (2021) — Bidragsgivare — 1,569 exemplar, 26 recensioner
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003 (2003) — Bidragsgivare — 751 exemplar, 11 recensioner
The Book of Other People (2008) — Bidragsgivare — 751 exemplar, 14 recensioner
The Future Dictionary of America (2004) — Bidragsgivare — 631 exemplar, 3 recensioner
The Best American Short Stories 2003 (2003) — Bidragsgivare — 473 exemplar, 4 recensioner
The Best American Short Stories 2000 (2000) — Bidragsgivare — 397 exemplar, 2 recensioner
100 Years of the Best American Short Stories (2015) — Bidragsgivare — 294 exemplar, 3 recensioner
The New Granta Book of the American Short Story (2007) — Bidragsgivare — 214 exemplar, 1 recension
Granta 97: Best of Young American Novelists 2 (2007) — Bidragsgivare — 196 exemplar, 2 recensioner
20 Under 40: Stories from The New Yorker (2010) — Bidragsgivare — 169 exemplar, 5 recensioner
Mentors, Muses & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives (2009) — Bidragsgivare — 67 exemplar, 2 recensioner
Best African American Fiction (2009) (2009) — Bidragsgivare — 48 exemplar, 1 recension
Politically Inspired (2003) — Bidragsgivare — 21 exemplar
Coming of Age in the 21st Century: Growing Up in America Today (2008) — Bidragsgivare — 17 exemplar
All about Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color (2014) — Bidragsgivare — 12 exemplar
Here Lies (2001) — Bidragsgivare — 3 exemplar


Allmänna fakta



I was enchanted with this book of short stories at first, but gradually lost enthusiasm as I progressed through the short stories. I love the author’s ability to draw characters through their actions and interactions with each other and their environment. I love her ability to create a sense of place and how her characters fit in that setting. I love the little thought-provoking moments in each story. But there was an unrelenting sameness to the stories. She likes Shirley Jackson-ish main characters: young people who live too much in their own heads, socially-awkward, alternating between remaining passively and resentfully where they are and impulsively jumping into situations that they then don’t know how to extricate themselves from. She also doesn’t seem to know how to wrap a story up. Most of them just end abruptly, like the author just ran out of things to say. Of the eight short stories, the best were “Brownies” and “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere”

Paperback copy, which I will donate to the library as I don’t keep paperbacks that I rated fewer than 4 stars. Although this book has been on my physical TBR for two years, I don’t remember what prompted me to buy it. It was probably something I read when I was looking for TBR recs when I started the Book Riot challenge for We Need Diverse Books.

I read it for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 16 December 26th-31st: Book themes for Kwanzaa: Read a book written by an author of African descent or a book set in Africa, or whose cover is primarily red, green or black. The author, ZZ Packer, is African-American.

Previous Updates:
11/9/17 82/265pg
Although the stories themselves are of varying quality so far, the writing is wonderfully evocative. This author can do more in less than 2 dozen pages to create a world, people it with real characters, and provoke my emotions than many authors can accomplish in a novel-length story.

11/10/17 210/265pg
This author apparently has no use for happy endings to her stories. They're not unrelentingly grim, but it's close.
… (mer)
Doodlebug34 | 32 andra recensioner | Jan 1, 2024 |
Abandoning this one 3 stories in with no rating. Look, Updike liked it, so who am I? I am willing to take the blame, but I am not feeling it. There are some wonderful sentences (the first sentence of the first story is incredibly good) but the tales felt attenuated and a bit cobbled together -- perhaps over-workshopped or not workshopped enough? I wanted to like this, I swear.
Narshkite | 32 andra recensioner | Jul 30, 2023 |
This is an excellent collection of short stories by an author who was skilled at her craft. The characters are vividly drawn, yet the economy of words that is required in the short story genre is still maintained. The plots are engaging and I was never able to stop reading in the middle of a story and return to it later. They engaged me throughout.
The stories are about the experiences of being black in a culture dominated by whites. Because of this, this book is a valuable contribution to understanding the immense disservice racism does both the the perpertrators and to the victims.
This book tells stories which I will long remember and leaves me a little wiser and more empathetic about a situation that is a cancer in the American character and where the current political attituds are likely to make things even worse.
… (mer)
PaulLoesch | 32 andra recensioner | Apr 2, 2022 |
I loved or strongly liked the eight stories that made up this book.

Brownies (3.5 stars)- A tale of a young girl going along with the crowd to bully and harass a separate group of brownies that are made up of young Caucasian girls. I though this story had a bit too much going on with it though I enjoyed it. I think it was because the main character was worried about not fitting in and also with a poem and life of a girl in her brownie troop as well. With an ending that seemed to be about much bigger things than what the story showed, I was a bit puzzled by it.

Every Tongue Shall Confess (4 stars)-Reading about a nurse named Clareese who "testifies" about Jesus and God even while at work had me shaking my head. I seriously know people who do this. As I tell people all of the time, God and I are good, I don't need to sit and talk to you about my faith. This story made me hard cringe for Clareese a few times. She definitely seemed lost and seemed to want something bigger than acceptance at her church and to testify about God.

Our Lady of Peace (5 stars)-A story about a woman who starts teaching at an inner city school in Baltimore. This was heartbreaking in so many parts.

The Ant of the Self (5 stars)- Reading about a young man and his father who go to D.C.'s Million Man March in order to sell birds. Yeah that at first made me scratch my head. But reading about the young man's issues with his father, with the whole thought process behind the million man march, with being pushed to a certain extent into a white only world and not enjoying being the only black person that is invited to play in there. I know that right now that a lot of older black adults have an issue with how the younger generation (including me) seem to ignore the struggle that has come before and does not seem appreciative of everything that was done to give us opportunities. This story was one of my favorites.

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (5 stars)- Once again another story about a young black girl at college who seems hellbent on ruining her chances. Reading about her unlikely friendship with a girl named Heidi who she seems to be running from in order to deny a piece of herself made this my second favorite story in this collection.

Speaking in Tongues (4.5 stars)- The main character Tia is trying her her real mother and imagines a perfect life before the reality of her situation comes crashing in. This story was much longer than the other and wow. It was really good and shocking.

You could only truly speak in tongues when all worldly matters were emptied from your mind, or else there was no room for God.

Geese (4.5 stars)- Character named Dina who is leaving Baltimore for Tokyo because in her head, Japan has to be better than where she is leaving and what she is doing right now. Or is it?

The plan was not well though-out, she admitted that much.
Or rather, it wasn't really a plan at all, but a feeling, a nebulous fluffy thing that had started in her chest, spread over her heart like a fog.
It was sparked by movies in which she'd seen Japanese people bowing ceremoniously, torsos seesawing; her first Japanese meal, when she'd turned twenty, and how she'd marveled at the sashimi resting on it's bed of rice, rice that lay on a lacquered dish the color of green tea.

She did not want to say it, because it made no practical sense, but in the end she went to Japan for the delicate sake cups, resting in her hand like a blossom; she went to Japan for loveliness.

Doris is Coming (4 stars)-Reading about Doris Yates and her thinking about the world coming to an end on New Year's Day 1961. Apparently the countdown to the end of the world started in 1948, and how a preacher put the rapture happening in 1955, and when it didn't occur, recalculated and had it happening on the last day in 1961. This sounds so familiar to me. Or at least I recall something similar happening back a few years ago. I went out in D.C. at happy hour with friends and there were a ton of people wearing yellow shirts proclaiming the end of the world. I remember just feeling sorry for these people. Same sentiment I had for Doris during this story which also segued into her going to school and being questioned for not believing enough.
… (mer)
ObsidianBlue | 32 andra recensioner | Jul 1, 2020 |



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