Moving in her youth from Chicago to Atlanta and finally to Louisville, Kentucky, ZZ excelled at math and science and wished to become an engineer. She was accepted by MIT, but chose to attend Yale University where she developed an interest in writing. Graduate work in the Writing Seminars program at Johns Hopkins University was followed by her participation in the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. She then became a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.
Several of her stories have appeared in “The New Yorker” and her short story collection, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, was a New York Times Notable Book for 2003. This debut book was also nominated for the 2004 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. ZZ Packer is currently working on her first novel.