“Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” by ZZ Packer is a Must Read book.
Why “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” by ZZ Packer is a Must-Read book?
Firstly allow me to introduce ZZ Packer
“ZZ Packer grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and Louisville, Kentucky. “ZZ” was a childhood nickname; Packer’s 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. She was named a Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford University.” – www.en.wikipedia.org
Here are six reasons why ZZ Packer’s collection of short stories, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere , is the one book every woman should read in her 20s according to Bustle.com
1. ZZ Packer Herself Is Just Totally Inspiring.
From a debut publication in Seventeen magazine at the age of 19, to being selected as one of The New Yorker magazine’s “20 Under 40” best fiction writers, to being listed as a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award, ZZ Packer’s resume boasts a seriously impressive list of young accomplishments. (Plus, you know, she attended Yale, John’s Hopkins, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Stanford.) Maybe some of that I-can-do-anything energy will rub off on you as you read Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. It’s worth a shot.
2. Because You’ve Definitely Had Those Days When You Wish You Were Drinking Coffee Elsewhere.
This collection of stories is filled with characters who perfectly capture the feelings of being an outsider — those feelings of vague wonder about what life would be like if you were someone else, or somewhere else, or able to fast forward/rewind/skip over certain coming-of-age experiences. The title story of this collection, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, even begins with a description of first day of college “orientation games” (a phrase I think we can all agree strikes dread, fear, and paralyzing social anxiety into the hearts of college freshman everywhere, always.) We’ve all had those days when we wished we were drinking coffee (or perhaps something just a bit stronger) elsewhere. Packer just gets it.
3. It’ll Make You Challenge The Assumptions Of Stereotypes.
Although each of the stories in Drinking Coffee Elsewhere presents a discussion of race, and the impact race has on our relationships with ourselves and others, Packer challenges the assumption that race is always going to be the strongest influencing factor in a given situation. From church ladies to handicapped campers to homeless teens, none of Packer’s characters fit into any one particular mold. Most of her black characters encounter characters of different races who are enduring forms of social alienation other than blackness — physical and mental disabilities, gender discrimination, poverty — often flipping the script of the assumed paradigm.
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