Oxford Conference for the Book: Lee Durkee in conversation with publisher Craig Popelars

Thursday, March 11, 2021 - 5:00pm

Join Square Books and the Oxford Conference for the Book as local author Lee Durkee discusses his novel The Last Taxi Driver with his publisher at Tin House, Craig Popelars. Thurs., March 11 at 5pm CST on Zoom.

Click here to register to attend.

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.

About the Author: 

Lee Durkee is the author of the novel Rides of the Midway. His stories and essays have appeared in Harper’s MagazineThe SunBest of the Oxford AmericanZoetrope: All-StoryTin HouseNew England Review, and Mississippi Noir. In 2021, his memoir Stalking Shakespeare will chronicle his decade-long obsession with trying to find lost portraits of William Shakespeare. A former cab driver, he lives in North Mississippi.

About the Host:

Craig Popelars is the Publisher of Tin House. Craig formerly was associate publisher of Algonquin Books, where he worked for twenty-five years. During his time at Algonquin, Craig helped launch and promote many bestselling and critically acclaimed works from authors including Larry Brown, Amy Stewart, Tayari Jones, Julia Alvarez, Lee Smith, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sara Gruen, and Richard Louv.

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Staff Pick Badge
The Last Taxi Driver Cover Image
ISBN: 9781951142681
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - April 6th, 2021

Staff Pick Badge
The Last Taxi Driver Cover Image
ISBN: 9781947793392
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - March 3rd, 2020