May 15, 2012 at 6:53 pm (Uncategorized)

I read this several years ago, and I highly recommend it. ZZ Packer is one of the best short story writers I’ve ever encountered. ‘Brownies’ is a personal favorite of mine.

Jim Breslin

The short story Brownies by ZZ Packer had me from the first line.

“By our second day at Camp Crescendo, the girls in my Brownie troop had decided to kick the asses of each and every girl in Brownie troop 909.”

I’d not read ZZ Packer before. But I will be reading her again soon. She tackles this story about underlying race relations and humanity from such an interesting angle. Her prose is a delight.

The narrator, Laurel, is a quiet observant Brownie who wants to stay out of trouble. The problem is Arnetta, the headstrong, brash girl in her troop who tends to stretch the truth to create excitement.

When the girls first pass another Brownie troop by the bathroom, Laurel describes them this way, “they were white girls, their complexions a blend of ice cream: strawberry, vanilla.” But after passing these girls, Arnetta describes them differently, “They smell…

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