‘Brownies’ by ZZ Packer

Another story about horrible children.

I first read ‘Brownies’ circa 2004 and at the time thought it was an efficient piece of creative writing, literary, circumscribed, American. But when, at the behest of Nikesh Shukla, we did ZZ Packer’s collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere on Backlisted last year I found I couldn’t get this particular story out of my head, and still can’t. No one appears to have tampered with my copy of the book so it must be the same story I read then. Gosh.

We don’t just change as readers as we get older, we improve.

If you haven’t read ‘Brownies’, you need to read it; also if you have read it.

First published in Harper’s Magazine, November 1999 and in Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, Riverhead Books, 2003

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