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Atlantic signs debut novel by Priya Guns

15th November 2021

Atlantic Fiction has acquired World (all languages) rights to Your Driver Is Waiting, the debut novel by Priya Guns. Within a week of submission in the US, it was sold to Margo Shickmanter at Doubleday in a pre-empt, reuniting for the first time the UK-US teams behind the 2019 bestselling phenomenon, My Sister the Serial Killer.

A spiky, blackly funny reboot of the classic Taxi Driver, in which Travis Bickle is a woman of colour in the 21st century, Your Driver Is Waiting will be published in hardback, eBook, and audio on both sides of the Atlantic in spring 2023.

Damani is tired. Every day she cares for her mum, drives ride shares to pay the bills and is angry at a world that promised her more before spitting her out. That is until the summer she meets Jolene and life opens up. Jolene seems like she could be the perfect girlfriend – attentive, attractive, liberal – and their chemistry feels genuine. So maybe Damani can look past the one thing that’s holding her back: Jolene is white. But Jolene really doesn’t seem like one of the bad ones – she’s done the reading, she goes to every protest, she even listens. Still, just as their romance intensifies, just as Damani learns to trust, Jolene does something unforgivable, setting off an explosive chain of events. Your Driver is Waiting is a blackly comic and deeply political novel about anger, love, and privilege in all their messy forms.

Priya Guns is a Creative Writing graduate from Kingston University. A former teacher, she is an actor and PhD student previously published in short story anthologies, gal-dem, Spring magazine, and anonymously in the Guardian. Your Driver Is Waiting is her debut novel. Guns says:

‘In my journey towards publication, I’ve read a lot about how publishers and agents aim to support ‘diverse’ voices, with a desire to represent writers of colour, working class and LGBTQI+ voices. Atlantic Books understands what this entails. Instead of a generic rejection for a manuscript I was working on, the team invited me to a meeting, at which, through an ingenious method of creative sorcery, the premise of Your Driver Is Waiting was born. It has been a wonderful experience working with my editor, Poppy Mostyn-Owen, and I am forever grateful for the trust and faith in my art. I am honoured to join Atlantic Books’ fantastic titles, and I’m excited for readers to meet Damani, who’s been waiting to be heard.’

The book’s editor, Poppy Mostyn-Owen says:

‘Taking its cue from Scorsese’s classic Taxi Driver, Priya Guns’ Your Driver Is Waiting re-imagines the Vietnam veteran Travis Bickle with the traumas of our age. Brimming with pointed social commentary and propulsive writing, Your Driver Is Waiting is a punchy, nuanced, and provocative portrait of flawed intentions. We are thrilled to welcome Priya to the Atlantic Fiction list.’