Local Literary Events

Published on February 20th, 2020 | by TLV News


Local Author Lee Durkee Takes Over Off Square Books with The Last Taxi Driver Wednesday, February 26

The Last Taxi Driver is a darkly comic novel about a day in the life of an exhausted, middle-aged hackie about to lose his job to Uber, his girlfriend to lethargy, and his ability to stand upright to chronic back spasms. Lou—a lapsed novelist and UFO enthusiast who has returned to his home state of Mississippi after decades away—drives for a ramshackle taxi company that operates on the outskirts of a college town among the trailer parks and housing projects. With Lou’s way of life fast vanishing, an ex-dispatcher returns to town on the lam, triggering a bedlam shift that will test Lou’s sanity and perhaps cost him his life. Against this backdrop, Lou has to keep driving, and driving—even if that means aiding and abetting the host of criminal misfits haunting the back seat of his Town Car.

Written by a former cabbie, The Last Taxi Driver careens through the highways and backroads of North Mississippi as Lou becomes increasingly somnambulant and his fares increasingly eccentric. Equal parts Bukowski and Portis, Durkee’s novel is an homage to a dying American industry.

Lee Durkee is the author of the novel Rides of the Midway (WW Norton). His stories and essays have appeared in Harper’s MagazineThe Sun, Best of the Oxford AmericanZoetrope: All Story, Tin HouseNew England Review, and Mississippi Noir. In 2021 Scribner will publish his memoir Stalking Shakespeare, which chronicles his decade-long obsession with trying to find lost portraits of William Shakespeare. A former cab driver, he lives in North Mississippi. The Last Taxi Driver is his first novel in twenty years.

Thacker Mountain Radio Returns to The Lyric Theatre with Maria Kuznetsova's Debut, "Oksana, Behave!" February 20
Gish Jen Reads from Her New Dystopian Novel "The Resisters" Monday, February 10 at Off Square Books

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The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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