ZZ Packer

ZZ Packer

Novelist
2018-2019: Hutchins Fellow
ZZ Packer

ZZ Packer was born in Chicago and raised in Atlanta and Louisville, Kentucky. She graduated from Yale, and afterward received degrees from Johns Hopkins and The Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. She has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, a Hodder Fellow at Princeton, and a Lillian Golay Knafel fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.

Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Story, Ploughshares, GRANTA, Zoetrope All-Story, Best American Short Stories 2000, Best American Short Stories 2003 and, most recently, 100 Years of The Best American Short Stories published in 2016.

Her non-fiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, The Believer, The American Prospect, The Oxford American, The Guardian, The New York Times Book Review, Newsweek Digital Online andThe New Yorker Online. She has appeared on MSNBC as a Huffington Post contributor.

She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a Whiting Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the American Academy of Berlin Prize (postponed). In 2007 GRANTA Magazine named her one of America’s Best Young Novelists. Her collection of stories Drinking Coffee Elsewhere won the Commonwealth First Fiction Award, an ALEX Award and was a National Book Award 5 under 35 winner. It became a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2004, and was selected for the Today Show Book Club by John Updike.

ZZ Packer is editor of New Short Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, 2008. She is at work on a novel about the Reconstruction and Buffalo Soldiers entitled The Thousands, an excerpt of which appeared in The New Yorker’s decennial “20 Under 40 Fiction Issue;” the previous issue having honored writers such as Junot Diaz, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jhumpa Lahiri and Michael Chabon.

She has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, The Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, Tulane University, Stanford University and Johns Hopkins. She most recently taught writing at MIT, where she was also a writer-in-residence.

As a Hutchins Fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year, she will be at work on The Thousands.