ZZ Packer’s debut collection of short stories is filled with images and characters whose lives are briefly and vividly unfolded to the reader, touching on identity, race, class, and being an outsider.
Published in 2003, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere is a collection of ZZ Packer’s stories, which were published everywhere from Seventeen to The New Yorker and embodies the writer’s astonishing rise in the literary world at a young age. Seventeen years on, these stories are still being taught in classes and the collection absolutely should be discovered by new readers. Although not much spectacular or shocking happens in Packer’s stories, she is a master of the moment and internal recognition and change. Her characters are alive and her stories are just the right length, avoiding the letdown that often comes when reading a story that ramps up and ends just as you want more from it.