Your Driver Is Waiting

Damani Krishanthan, the antihero of Priya Guns's startling, dark social satire Your Driver Is Waiting, struggles to cope in a city fraught with protests over social injustices. Her must-have survival tools in her job as a rideshare driver include a switchblade, a tire iron and pepper spray. She leads a frustrating life: her beloved father is dead, and depression immobilizes her Amma. Her pay rarely covers the bills, making Damani one of the many working poor in a city full of social injustices. Friends and coworkers invite her to protest against the rideshare company's pitiful wages, but taking time off to protest would mean even less income. Forcing herself to endure long hours driving and being nice to the dangerous, misogynistic and uncaring passengers she encounters, all in the hopes of a five-star rating and desperately needed tips, drains her sanity and frays the walls of her thinly veiled temper. Life remains bleak until she falls for a wealthy and woke white socialite named Jolene, who sweeps Damani off her feet with sexual bliss and fantastical promises of extravagant vacations. The relationship comes to a screeching halt when Jolene gets an introduction to Damani's friends. Betrayal and violence erupt over unanswered texts and unreturned phone calls. Damani becomes a stalker as her one possibility of happiness is lost in a fiery crescendo of rage.

Guns catches fire in her first novel, a too-real-not-to-be-real satire that is bound to become a much discussed book of note. It's an insightfully relatable statement on the frustrations of making ends meet in a gig economy. --Paul Dinh-McCrillis, freelance reviewer

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