The Creative Writing Department is very pleased to announce the tenure-track hire of ZZ Packer, who joins our fiction faculty in fall. Her hire is the result of a very rich search this spring in which students were involved in workshops taught by all 4 candidates for the position. Faculty and students felt that ZZ Packer could bring fresh insights to our program with her interests in narratology, the shape and structure of fiction, and her exceptional writing, which has been exhibited in her book of stories, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, an international bestseller. Frequently published in such journals as The New Yorker and Granta, she is at work on a novel, The Thousands, which explores the lives of former Louisiana slaves in forming a labor movement, as well as the fates of African-American "buffalo soldiers" assigned in the Southwest to battle the last Native American resistance force, the Apaches. She has been awarded a Guggenheimn Fellowship and the American Academy in Berlin Prize to complete this novel. She has taught at many institutions including Princeton, where she was a Hodder Fellow; the Michener Center at the University of Texas; Vassar College; and as a Jones Lecturer at Stanford. She received her education at Yale (BA), Johns Hopkins (MA), the University of Iowa (MFA), and Stanford as a Stegner Fellow. I know our department will be enriched by her presence.
-Maxine Chernoff, Chair of Creative Writing