This book came together quickly, though its gestation period was long. I’d been unsatisfied with my second cabbie book ever since it came out in 2014. The publisher turned out to be a crook and he hired an incompetent designer who butchered the book to such an extent it took three people to reconstruct the thing into some semblance of coherence. There was also the second book/sequel problem; it was difficult to explain why there should even be a second cabbie book. I was never able to successfully explain that it wasn’t a continuation of the first book.
Cut to the end of 2019. I’d just self-published Soviet Stamps and was thinking about what to write next. I wrote to the University of Chicago Press for permission to reprint the material in the first book in a new limited edition. They gave their okay and I got to work.
The virus lockdown provided the necessary block of isolated concentration to put this book together in a compressed amount of time. I wound up rewriting a lot of the old material. I also cut chunks that I just couldn’t fix. I’d never taken a writing class prior to working on my first book, so it was basically a crash course in the process. I integrated vignettes from the two books into as coherent a flow as I could, then added essays I wrote after I quit driving cab in 2012 and reprinted the zines which started the whole project twenty years ago. The result is my final word on cabdriving and a kind of obituary for a job that’s all but extinct in 2020. I drove to Michigan, packed the rental with forty boxes of books, then drove right back to Chicago. Carrying them into the new place was almost a pleasure compared to the three flight ordeal I survived for the last two books. I spent a chunk of the week signing and numbering. Get yours here.