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I'll Ask You Three Times, Are You OK?: Tales of Driving and Being Driven Hardcover – September 18, 2007

8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nye brings a keen curiosity and a poet's sensibility to this smooth, anecdotal collection that amplifies the notion that the journey itself is the destination. The most memorable characters are taxi drivers, such as the Syracuse, N.Y., cabbie whose conversation gives the book its title: driving her to the airport before dawn, he warns Nye that he will ask three times if she is okay, Just to make sure you feel safe and secure. We're living in strange times, and I want you to feel very comfortable. In other highlights of Nye's tour, she re-creates the voices of a rickshaw driver in India who tries to talk her into visiting a rug store instead of the Taj Mahal; the Glasgow driver who invites her to sit in front with him and bids her farewell with, Okay then, be safe to the other side of the sea; and an Egyptian driver in New York City who boasts of trafficking in counterfeit handbags. Nye muses on what she learns on specific travels and shares stories about driving other people (among them, possibly senile strangers, distinguished visiting writers and her own son). Aside from some name-dropping and some mildly self-indulgent moments, Nye's prose flows fluidly and evokes any number of different settings. She makes her case that what happen[s] in the margins, on the way to the destinations of any day, might be as intriguing as what happen[s] when you {get] there. All ages. (Sept.)
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From Booklist

Although Nye insists that these first-person narratives are fiction, they read like personal essays or newspaper columns about her encounters ("riding in a taxi, passing in a car") during her travels with her family and for her work as an author and public speaker. She writes about sudden intimate connections with strangers, especially taxi drivers, who often yield glimpses of family and exile that can sometimes change us. Some pieces are more for adults than teens, especially those that detail Nye's travails at conventions, but the prose is chatty, fast, and unpretentious, and teens will enjoy the driving stuff and the idea of her kissing in the backseat, and they'll feel her sense of control when she is behind the wheel herself. Unlike much of Nye's writing, these pieces are not political, yet the most riveting conversation is with a Palestinian taxi driver in Manhattan, who speaks of those he left behind: "They can't come, they can't go." Rochman, Hazel

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; First Edition - First Printing edition (September 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060853921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060853921
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,722,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Naomi Shihab Nye, poet, essayist, anthologist, has been a recipient of writing fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Witter Bynner Foundation/Library of Congress. Author of more than twenty volumes, her recent books inc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. Stricklin on November 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This latest book by Naomi Shihab Nye is warm and funny and endlessly entertaining. It is always such a pleasure to be in the company of Naomi Nye as she looks at our world. In this collection of vignettes, Naomi takes us traveling across the US and around the world. From the back seats of taxis and the lobbies of hotels we encounter peculiar, heartwarming and just plan wacky taxi drivers and clerks. Human nature is the subject and in the hands of Ms. Nye it is fascinating. I recommend the friendship between a cat and his driver in San Antonio.
Irresistable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book for anybody with a traveling bone. Naomi Shihab Nye finds beauty in the simplest moments experienced while in taxis and connects them to her life and yours in ways that will surprise and provoke one to pay more attention to what we might often NOT let resonate with us. People you don't know really do have a great deal to offer, especially when you most need it, or least expect it. Inspiring words with a great perspective and voice.
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By Julia Renee' on September 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am reading this book through for the second time. Nye has a way of introducing me to the world around me in a whole new way. Her truth is a balm. Not always a happy truth but truth nonetheless. She has become one of my favorite authors and the kind of person I would love to call my friend. I feel fortunate to have found her works.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was a good adventure/travel book. The experiences she had were more than interesting. Having had one or two of them, I could see where she was coming from. Some of them were a little chancy, but she always came out okay if not on top. She knew how to handle the chancy situation. Fun reading and highly recommended.
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