Brimming with dark comedy and rage, Your Driver is Waiting by Priya Guns is a piercing and funny social commentary on modern alienation. Inspired by the iconic 70’s film Taxi Driver, Priya Guns writes a satire on the economic, racial and gender injustice in society.
She shares her inspiration below…
When I watched the film Taxi Driver in 2015, I thought about what it was about Travis Bickle that made me connect with him, despite the atrocious choices he made. *Cue in feelings of loneliness and alienation* He wanted to clean up the city, disgusted by what he saw. I think it’s fair to say that many of us have those feelings towards the society we live in today – who doesn’t want to change something? But Travis Bickle was one of, if not the first depiction of an incel we’ve seen in film, and yet the actions he sought in an attempt to ‘clean up’ New York City, deemed him a ‘hero’. His crime didn’t question or threaten society, it could continue to function without any need for change.
(Writing this, I’m thinking of Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17 year old who shot protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020. He was met by police officers thanking him and in 2021 he was exonerated. It’s important to mention that the protestors in Kenosha rallied in outrage from the shooting of Jacob Blake. Police shot Blake 7 times in the back, leaving him paralysed. They did this in front of his children.)
I thought, how would a driver today want to change the city and who would deem them a hero, who would call them a terrorist? How could this look in fiction and who would this driver be? What would be the roots of her rage? How would her alienation differ from Travis’, if at all? I unpacked the political and psychological reasoning behind Travis Bickle’s motives and methods. Of course, in narrative form, my thoughts on this are vague. I want to spark conversations.
I started my first draft in January 2021 and we were in lockdown. I wanted to play with the anger and frustrations many of us were feeling. I wanted to have fun. Your Driver Is Waiting is a light and quick read, though it speaks to the incredibly difficult challenge we face, on how we save ourselves from this political disaster that is pushing us to our breaking points, literally starving us, and destroying our natural world. Good Morning!! What’s my novel about? A driver named Damani, who has had enough and so desperately yearns for more; better pay, stability, a fucking break. It’s about love in its many forms. Your Driver Is Waiting may piss some people off, it may leave some confused and wondering, and it may be a breath of fresh air for others. I’m not sure, but I guess I will be finding out.
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