Nope. Davis-Kidd isn't gone. The store is out of the hands of liquidators, and a bankruptcy court judge approved a deal that grants ownership of the store to Neil Van Uum, who'd headed Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Davis-Kidd's former parent company. Thanks to Van Uum, Laurelwood Shopping Center president and owner Tom Prewitt, the staff at Davis-Kidd, and Memphis' book-buying community, Davis-Kidd is back from the brink and intends to stay back: The store has signed a 10-year lease with Laurelwood, with plans for a major remodeling in the fall.
But Gone, yes: It's Nell Dickerson's photographs documenting what remains of pre-Civil War buildings in the Mid-South. (Pictured: Parlor, circa 1852, Hinds County, Miss.) It's a beautiful book brought to you by BelleBooks, a publisher (with major Memphis ties) dedicated to Southern authors, and who could be more Southern than Shelby Foote? Foote is not only Dickerson's cousin by marriage, his story "Pillar of Fire" (drawn from his novel Jordan County) runs alongside Dickerson's images in the pages of Gone. Be at Davis-Kidd on Saturday to have Dickerson sign her book. Be at Davis-Kidd to celebrate its new, truly independent book-store status.
And don't forget Burke's. It's Memphis' oldest independent book store, and it's hosting Kyran Pittman, who will be signing Planting Dandelions: Field Notes from a Semi-Domesticated Life (Riverhead Books). A blogger and contributing writer at Good Housekeeping, Pittman lives in suburban Little Rock with her husband and sons, which is a far cry from her unconventional upbringing on the island of Newfoundland. Pittman's book: a very winning look at the trials and joys of marriage and motherhood — and foreclosure. Meet the author when you're out and about at Thursday night's Cooper-Young Night Out.
Nell Dickerson presenting and signing "Gone," Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Saturday, May 7th, 1 p.m.; Kyran Pittman reading from and signing "Planting Dandelions," Burke's Book Store, Thursday, May 5th, 5:30 p.m.