What: Watermark Books & Café invites you to attend a virtual author event with Heidi Pitlor and ZZ Packer! Both authors will join us virtually for a Q&A and discussion of their newest books. Heidi will be discussing her new novel Impersonation—a satirical, incisive snapshot of how so many of us now live, Impersonation tells a timely, insightful, and bitingly funny story of ambition, motherhood, and class. ZZ Packer will be discussing her beloved collection of stories Drinking Coffee Elsewhere—the acclaimed debut short story collection that introduced the world to an arresting and unforgettable new voice in fiction, from multi-award-winning author ZZ Packer.
When: Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. (CT)
Where: This is a virtual event and will be hosted online using Zoom Pro Webinar & Facebook Live.
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“By turns revealing, hilarious, dishy, and razor-sharp, Impersonation lives in that rarest of sweet spots: the propulsive page-turner for people with high literary standards.” —Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers
Allie Lang is a professional ghostwriter and a perpetually broke single mother to a young boy. Years of navigating her own and America’s cultural definitions of motherhood have left her a lapsed idealist. Lana Breban is a powerhouse lawyer, economist, and advocate for women’s rights with designs on elected office. She also has a son. Lana and her staff have decided she needs help softening her public image and that a memoir about her life as a mother will help.
When Allie lands the job as Lana’s ghostwriter, it seems as if things will finally go Allie’s way. At last, she thinks, there will be enough money not just to pay her bills but to actually buy a house. After years of working as a ghostwriter for other celebrities, Allie believes she knows the drill: she has learned how to inhabit the lives of others and tell their stories better than they can.
But this time, everything becomes more complicated. Allie’s childcare arrangements unravel; she falls behind on her rent; her subject, Lana, is better at critiquing than actually providing material; and Allie’s boyfriend decides to go on a road trip toward self-discovery. But as a writer for hire, Allie has gotten too used to being accommodating. At what point will she speak up for all that she deserves?
A satirical, incisive snapshot of how so many of us now live, Impersonation tells a timely, insightful, and bitingly funny story of ambition, motherhood, and class.
About Heidi Pitlor
Heidi Pitlor is the author of the novels The Birthdays and The Daylight Marriage. She has been the series editor of The Best American Short Stories since 2007 and the editorial director of Plympton, a literary studio. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Huffington Post, Ploughshares, and the anthologies It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art and Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers. She lives outside Boston.
About Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
The acclaimed debut short story collection that introduced the world to an arresting and unforgettable new voice in fiction, from multi-award winning author ZZ Packer
Her impressive range and talent are abundantly evident: Packer dazzles with her command of language, surprising and delighting us with unexpected turns and indelible images, as she takes us into the lives of characters on the periphery, unsure of where they belong. We meet a Brownie troop of black girls who are confronted with a troop of white girls; a young man who goes with his father to the Million Man March and must decide where his allegiance lies; an international group of drifters in Japan, who are starving, unable to find work; a girl in a Baltimore ghetto who has dreams of the larger world she has seen only on the screens in the television store nearby, where the Lithuanian shopkeeper holds out hope for attaining his own American Dream.
With penetrating insight, ZZ Packer helps us see the world with a clearer vision. Fresh, versatile, and captivating, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere is a striking and unforgettable collection, sure to stand out among the contemporary canon of fiction.
About ZZ Packer
ZZ Packer's stories have appeared in The New Yorker (where she was launched as a debut writer), Harper's and Story, have been published in The Best American Short Stories, and have been read on NPR's Selected Shorts. Packer is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers' Award, and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. A graduate of Yale, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Writing Seminar at Johns Hopkins University, she has been a Wallace Stenger-Truman Capote fellow and a Jones lecturer at Stanford University.