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Writing community in state of wonder over Ann Patchett's bookstore

Ann Patchett
Ann Patchett
Photo credits: Tony Baker

Local bestselling author Ann Patchett is not only wowing readers with her latest spellbinding marvel, State of Wonder this week, she’s also, along with business partner and Random House veteran Karen Hayes, lifting spirits and uniting book lovers with her announcement of opening a bookstore in Nashville. After the loss of Davis-Kidd, last December, authors, readers and celebrators of the written word mourned the death of Nashville's biggest Indie. To date, authors grapple with locations for larger signings, a home for sharing their stories and showcasing their work. A hole was left in the heart of writers and readers everywhere, but Patchett is preparing to heal that literary chasm.

Patchett told the Tennessean, “When Davis-Kidd closed I thought, ‘I don’t want to live in a city without a bookstore,’ ” she said. “I really think the city will come through for this.”

The city, its writers, readers and celebrators of the written world of story are standing behind her. Local authors and members of the writing community react, offering support, joy and appreciation to one of their own:

"I'm not surprised the doyenne of Nashville's literary community has saved the day for local book lovers. God bless her."

– Adam Ross, bestselling author of Mr. Peanut. Ross’s latest collection of short stories, Ladies and Gentlemen, hits stores June 28th.

“If Ann and Karen build it, I guarantee you, we will come! This is sure to be an indie that will be a gathering place for authors and readers alike. I just want to say, thank you, thank you, thank you!”

-Susan Gregg Gilmore, author of Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen and The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove.

I wonder if Ann Patchett knows what kind of stir she's caused among authors in the Nashville area? We're all clamoring to volunteer with renovations and shelving stock - introverts and extroverts alike! I'm so, so very excited."

–Myra McEntire, author of Hourglass - which hits stores June 14, 2011

“When we lost Davis-Kidd, I was very, very sad. Heartbroken, really. Nashville has an amazing library system, a huge literary community, and no bookstore. So hearing that Ann and Karen are getting involved makes me very happy. I’m thrilled!”

– J.T. Ellison, bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Taylor Jackson series

“On-line bookstores have their place, but there's nothing like a real bookstore! I miss the booksellers at Davis-Kidd, who really knew books and could help customers pick out something they might not have been aware of. I can't wait to have a place to hold book signings, book-launch parties, and workshops for readers and writers. And of course, I hope Ms. Patchett will promote local authors!”

–Tracy Barrett, author of King of Ithaka, Dark of the Moon and other books for young readers.

"Nashville, home of the Southern Book Festival, is in need of a great independent bookstore. We have tens of thousands of readers, and it will take some loyalty and commitment on our parts if we want to see books thrive once again in this community. I'm thrilled to hear of Ann's investment in the future of literature."

-Eric Wilson,NY Times bestselling author of Fireproof, Valley of Bones, and One Step Away.

“I feel great about it! In a town with as many writers as Nashville has, we need a strong bookstore. Not to disparage the small independents, like Bookman/Bookwoman and Mysteries & More, both of which I love, but losing Davis-Kidd and Borders was a blow to everyone, both writers and readers, and the news that we'll be getting a new store is enormously exciting.”

–Jennie Bentley, author of the DIY Avery Baker series and Cutthroat Business mysteries.

“I have been very saddened by the loss of both independent and chain bookstores in Nashville. For a city with the reputation of being the Athens of the South—as a center of both publishing and education—it’s tantamount to a crime for Nashvillians to have to drive to other cities like Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Lebanon, Hendersonville, etc., to find more than one or two small bookstores. I love the idea of author Ann Patchett teaming with a publishing professional to open a bookstore in Nashville—who better to serve the reading community than those responsible for producing the product we seek?”

-Kaye Dacus, author of The Ransome Trilogy, The Matchmakers and The Brides of Bonneterre Series.

"Nashville's book loving community has been needing some good news and Ann Patchett provided it! We desperately need a bookstore that we can call our own again."

-Julie Schoerke, book and author publicist.

“Nashville has a vibrant, eclectic arts scene, and the hole left behind when our largest independent bookstore disappeared just doesn't reflect our city. I'm delighted to hear of Ms. Patchett's intentions to rectify that. I've long admired her as an author, and now I admire her determination to serve Nashville's literary community with this venture. I look forward to spending many hours there.”

-Kristin Tubb, author of Selling Hope and Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different

"In this digital age that is causing more and more bookstores to close, it is a relief to know that Ann Patchett understands the importance of the tangible word and is making this valiant effort to keep it alive."

– Jolina Petersheim, writer, reader and blogger.

"This is tremendous news from a tremendous author for a tremendous literary city. Nashville loves the printed word and this fills a great sense of loss since the closing of Davis Kidd and Borders stores."

–Tom Robinson, book and author publicist.

"Thank God. Nashville without a bookstore is like Keith without Nicole. I think Ann will do great. No one knows bookstores better than authors because we spend so much time in them. Wouldn't it be cool if she hired only authors to work there?"

-Ad Hudler, bestselling author, blogger and speaker.

Thank you, Ann and Karen. Not only are we provided the glorious escape into Ann’s written world from the books she creates (here’s looking at you, State of Wonder), but now we have the prospect of a new home to house all the stories that shape and change our world.


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