54th out of 383 books — 281 voters
Driving Miss Daisy
by Alfred Uhry
The place is the Deep South, the time 1948, just prior to the civil rights movement. Having recently demolished another car, Daisy Wertham, a rich, sharp-tongued Jewish widow of seventy-two, is informed by her son, Boolie, that henceforth she must rely on the services of a chauffeur. The person he hires for the job is a thoughtful, unemployed black man, Hoke, whom Miss Dai...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published January 1st 1993 by Theatre Communications Group
(first published 1986)
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My husband and I were reading books, and he said he was almost done with his book, and was I almost done with my "pamphlet"? Driving Miss Daisy is a very short, sweet, three-character play about a friendship that develops over 25 years, (but only around 50 pages!) between a Jewish woman and her black chauffer who is hired against Daisy's will by her son in response to his concern over her driving. Funny and insightful, it packs a punch.
1988 Pulitzer: A play about an unlikely friendship that evolves despite racial differences. Daisy is an aging Jewish matron who is forced by her son to be driven around by Hoke, an aging black chauffeur because of her failing eyesight. This play remains fairly light-hearted the entire time while still successfully pulling at your heartstrings as you watch their friendship bloom over 25 years.
I'm off to see 'Driving Miss Daisy' starring James Earl Jones and Angela Lansbury at the Theatre tomorrow so I thought I would read the play in preparation. What a wonderful hour of my life! An amazing tale that spans not only time but silently chronicles relationships, ageing, ignorance and war - all in a seemingly simple story about an old lady and her chauffeur. Simply delightful.
I think that despite this being a decent play it was out-dated by the time it was written. It has aged a little more now but there was a time when a story that showcased this sort of relationship was all the rage. Now we've gotten so many variations of it that the tame nature is what this play suffers the most from. Other than that it is a decent story.
This play spans a few decades and chronicles the budding friendship between an old cranky, Jewish woman, Daisy, and her driver, a black man named Hoke. Over the years their relationship changes from a business one to that of old friends. The dialogue is wonderful and though it is a short play, I quickly felt attached to the characters.
There is a chance that this may be one of the few pitch perfect plays ever written. There is such depth and life in the characters. The off-stage characters, who never show up, are so well drawn and full of life you'd swear they were in the actually on stage. This play avoids the dreaded hammer of sentimentality by spreading the play over decades. The lessons learned aren't simple, and don't wrap up nicely at the end. This is just a dynamic play that has two of the most well-defined characters d...more
Thankfully, the fine arts are full of stories about magical Negros teaching annoying white people to behave like humans. Apparently, it is a lesson we need to be taught early and often. White readers will be charmed to know that racism isn't entirely our own fault, and black readers will be pleased to see a story in which a black man isn't cast as a felon.
Alfred Uhry was born in Atlanta, Georgia. His book for the musical version of Eudora Welty's The Robber Bridegroom was Tony nominated in 1976. Driving Miss Daisy won the Pulitzer Prize, and The Last Night of Ballyhoo and his book for the musical Parade won Tony Awards. In 2006 his play Without Walls, starring Laurence Fishburne, opened in Los Angeles, and Edgardo Mine opened at the Tyrone Guthrie...moreMore about Alfred Uhry...