by Khamissi, Khaled

It is the most diverse species on the planet and it inhabits the polluted, unforgiving streets of Cairo, a city that simply refuses to stand still. The taxi driver is an urban omnivore whose high-speed colours, habits and moods reflect all surrounding life, and yet pass it by, in the bustling flora and fauna of the Egyptian capital. Khaled Al Khamissi’s “Taxi” is a remarkable journey into the lives and labyrinths of this beast of burden that has become a best-selling modern masterpiece in the author’s home country. “Taxi” brings together 58 fictional monologues with Cairo cabbies recreated from the author’s own experience of traversing the city. The experience takes the reader on a roller-coaster of emotions as bumpy and noisy as the city’s potholed and chaotic streets.Described as an urban sociology, an ethnography, a classic of oral history – and a work of poetry in motion – “Taxi” tells Herculean tales of the struggle for survival and dignity among Greater Cairo’s 80,000 cab drivers.