Author of "Hack," licensed NYC taxi driver
Melissa Plaut is the author of HACK: How I Stopped Worrying About What to Do with My Life and Started Driving a Yellow Cab, published by Villard/Random House.
After college, Plaut held a series of unsatisfying office jobs until getting laid off from an advertising agency at the age of 28. Not wanting to return to an unfulfilling corporate career, she decided to treat life as a series of adventures. Her first step: become a New York City taxi driver. Undeterred by the fact that 99 percent of cabbies in the city were men, she went to taxi school, got her “hack” license, and hit the streets of Manhattan and the outlying boroughs.
A year later, she started writing and photographing for her blog, New York Hack, which detailed her nightly experiences behind the wheel. Within a few months, the blog was receiving several thousand hits a day. Plaut’s book, HACK, expanded on the blog, tracing her first years traveling the 6,400 miles of New York City streets, navigating the inner workings of the city’s taxi industry while revealing the crazy parade of humanity that passed through her cab.
Plaut’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, BUST Magazine, and the San Diego Reader. She has also written and recorded stories for NPR’s All Things Considered and Weekend America.
Plaut is currently at work on her second memoir and first feature-length screenplay. She lives in Brooklyn.