Address: 202 Banner Hall, 4465 I-55 North, Jackson, Mississippi 39206
Phone: 601-366-7619 / 1-800-366-7619 (toll-free)
Owner: John Evans
When it comes to Lemuria’s beginnings, it all started with a situation too many of us have know all too well – unemployment. In 1975, John Evans couldn’t find a job anywhere in Jackson and ultimately decided he better figure out a way to employ himself. A passionate reader who had regularly been frustrated that books he wanted weren’t available in Jackson or elsewhere in the whole of Mississippi, he figured that opening a topnotch bookstore would be a good bet.
He opened Lemuria in a cramped converted apartment in an area known as the Quarter on Lakeland Drive. Two years later Lemuria moved to Highland Village a shopping area just north of downtown Jackson, allowing for expansion with new sections devoted to children’s books, fiction and Southern writers. Eventually, he even acquired a smaller building next door which has become the location for many of the bookstore’s fantastic author events.
With a real variety of customers coming through their doors, popular book selections are all over the map, from history and politics to cooking and travel to mysteries and poetry, not to mention Civil Rights and Southern history, as well as Southern classic and contemporary fiction. They even have a special Southern fiction section that offers writers known nationwide like John Grisham to the lesser known Mary Ward Brown of Alabama.
Lemuria’s attention to local books though, really sets them apart. This October they will be showcasing three big Mississippi books coming out: “Mississippians,” a beautiful book about famous Mississippians as well as some not so famous Mississippians who have made a difference; a stunning photography book on the “Blues in Mississippi” done by Ken Murphy; and a book by the journalist Curtis Wilkie about the recent Dicky Scruggs case, a judge bribery case that has been in the national spotlight.
This amazing bookstore will begin its 35th year this October and I have to applaud them on cultivating relationships over the years with Southern writers such as, Eudora Welty, Barry Hannah, Larry Brown, Barry Gifford. All of these writers, in their own way, try to capture something crucial to understanding the South.