Your Driver Is Waiting
A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF THE YEAR • In this electrifyingly fierce and funny social satire—inspired by the iconic 1970s film Taxi Driver—a ride share driver is barely holding it together on the hunt for love, dignity, and financial security...until she decides she's done waiting.
“What you are about to read is a call to arms. Best to prepare for a confrontation." —New York Times Book Review
"A perfect gut punch of a novel…Full of love and real friendship and frustrations boiled over and the urge to burn everything down…[The] writing is laser-focused and hilarious and full of aching need. This is a hard-hitting masterpiece.—Kristen Arnett, author of With Teeth and Mostly Dead Things
Damani is tired. Her father just died on the job at a fast-food joint, and now she lives paycheck to paycheck in a basement, caring for her mom and driving for an app that is constantly cutting her take. The city is roiling in protests--everybody's in solidarity with somebody--but while she keeps hearing that they’re fighting for change on behalf of people like her, she literally can’t afford to pay attention.
Then she gives a ride to Jolene (five stars, obviously). Jolene seems like she could be the perfect girlfriend--attentive, attractive, an ally--and their chemistry is off the charts. Jolene’s done the reading, she goes to every protest, and she says all the right things. So maybe Damani can look past the one thing that's holding her back: she’s never dated anyone with money before, not to mention a white girl with money. But just as their romance intensifies and Damani finally lets her guard down, Jolene does something unforgivable, setting off an explosive chain of events.
A wild, one-sitting read brimming with dark comedy, and piercing social commentary and announcing Priya Guns's feverishly original voice, Your Driver Is Waiting is a crackling send-up of our culture of modern alienation.
Guns' sharp and bonkers debut reimagines Taxi Driver for the Uber era. Damani Krishanthan, 30, drives long hours for RideShare in an unnamed American city, where her low commission rate can't cover her bills and rent on the apartment she shares with her recently widowed mother (the household has also lost the income of Damani's father, who died while working a fast-food job). Damani grinds out her gig, fighting exhaustion and keeping weapons close at hand for protection; passes a steady stream of protesters carrying "FUCK-this signs"; and hangs out at an abandoned warehouse-cum-night club, the Doo Wop Club, where she commiserates with fellow gig workers. Things seem to brighten after she books a fare with Jolene, a wealthy white activist with whom she develops a whirlwind romance. But when Jolene accompanies Damani to the Doo Wop Club, an argument ensues as Damani challenges Jolene's abstract anticapitalistic ideas about how to handle predatory companies like RideShare. The third act, featuring Damani sporting a mohawk à la Travis Bickle, leads to a somewhat overheated ending, but there's plenty of rich commentary on gig work, race, and white privilege. This has plenty of bite.