In the January 11 edition of The Metro Times Sarah Rose Sharp interviews Tobier and collaborators Stacey Malasky and Katie Grace McGowan.
Tobier moved to Detroit from New York City. For anyone coming from a place with such strong public transportation infrastructure, the People Mover is comedically inefficient — its 13 stops cover a distance that the average New Yorker would simply walk.
“I was really inspired by the strangeness of a big city and a small train,” Tobier says by email. “Growing up in NYC, each subway line was an epic journey connecting distant parts of a vast city. There was an irony in the People Mover because each stop is so close to the next, it becomes a kind of limited Odyssey in geography, but not in imagination.”
In Deadline Detroit, Alan Stamm discusses the book’s release:
Detroit’s People Mover, the automated monorail looping through downtown since mid-1987, sometimes draws ridicule over its limited length (2.9 miles), one-way travel and sizable subsidies ($12 million annually from the city and state). But to a University of Michigan art professor, it’s a source of literary inspiration.
Nick Tobier invited Michigan artists and writers to get off at one of the 12 stops and reflect on “anything that would not be in a tourist’s guide to the city.” as he puts it.