Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

Book - 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 Seventeenmagazine 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 Elsewhereis a striking debut-fresh, versatile, and captivating. It introduces us to an arresting and unforgettable new American voice.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2003
ISBN: 9781573222341
Branch Call Number: FIC PACKER
Characteristics: ix, 238 pages ; 24 cm


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Jan 18, 2017

On "10 Books I Wish My White Teachers Had Read" by Crystal Paul (https://www.bustle.com/articles/153390-10-books-i-wish-my-white-teachers-had-read).

CPL_Laura Dec 07, 2013

In this masterful and funny short story collection by ZZ Packer, engaging but often isolated characters, many of them young African-American women, struggle with issues of identity. In Brownies, an African-American brownie troop summering at Camp Crescendo determines “to kick the asses of each and every girl in Brownie Troop 909,” when one of its members uses the N-word. “We’d seen them, but from afar,” says our narrator, the troop member nicknamed Snot. “Never within their orbit enough to see whether their faces were the way all white girls appeared on TV—ponytailed and full of energy, bubbling over with love and money.” Their anger and intentions are thwarted, however, when they make a startling discovery about the white troop. Misperceptions also figure in “The Ant of the Self,” the protagonist of which is a straight-arrow and somewhat aloof high school student at a mostly white high school, who is subjected to comments like “You stay away from those drugs, Spurgeon, and you’ll go far.” Coerced into driving his ne’er do well father to Washington DC to attend the Million Man March, Spurgeon and his father come to blows. Other stories feature a mistrustful Yale freshman who behaves less than compassionately when her sole friend comes out of the closet, and a repressed cross-eyed nurse who misguidedly tries to bring the word of God to her patients. Thought-provoking and wise, these are essential stories by an author with something to say and the talent to make us hang on to every word.

Jun 27, 2012

Great Book!

Jun 27, 2012

The short stories featured in this book, all by the same woman, are good reads. Almost none of them have very clear endings, but that doesn't detract from the quality of the story at all (in fact, adds to it).

Oct 14, 2009

"Brownies" and "The Ant of the Self" are two must-reads for short story fans (and writers studying the craft).

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