Lee Durkee is the author of the novels Rides of the Midway and The Last Taxi Driver. His work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The Sun, The Best of the Oxford American, Zoetrope, Lit Hub, Mississippi Noir, and other places. In April 2022, Scribner will publish Stalking Shakespeare, a memoir about his obsession with trying to find lost portraits of Will Shakespeare.
Streaming November 13
Taxicab Tales: Fact and Fiction
with Lee Durkee and Dege Legg
The Last Taxi Driver
A Kirkus Best Book of 2020
“A wild, funny, poetic fever dream that will change the way you think about America.” ―George Saunders
Hailed by George Saunders as “a true original―a wise and wildly talented writer,” Lee Durkee takes readers on a high-stakes cab ride through an unforgettable shift. Meet Lou―a lapsed novelist, struggling Buddhist, and UFO fan―who drives for a ramshackle taxi company that operates on the outskirts of a north Mississippi college town. With Uber moving into town and his way of life vanishing, his girlfriend moving out, and his archenemy dispatcher suddenly returning to town on the lam, Lou must finish his bedlam shift by aiding and abetting the host of criminal misfits haunting the back seat of his disintegrating Town Car. Lou is forced to decide how much he can take as a driver, and whether keeping his job is worth madness and heartbreak.
Shedding nuts and bolts, The Last Taxi Driver careens through highways and back roads, from Mississippi to Memphis, as Lou becomes increasingly somnambulant and his fares increasingly eccentric. Equal parts Bukowski and Portis, Durkee’s darkly comic novel is a feverish, hilarious, and gritty look at a forgotten America and a man at life’s crossroads.
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