"If there’s one thing you can say about Derek Davis, it’s that he doesn’t think quite like anyone else.
The small-town world he’s created here is at first deceptively recognizable and simple.
Then the strangeness starts to creep in, revealing an unexpectedly complex world that’s simultaneously scientific
and spiritual, profound, disturbing, absurd, and funny as hell. It’s a real traveling carnival of a novel."
— Jim Knipfel, author of Slackjaw and These Children Who Come at You with Knives
Gifts of a Dead Man
$18.95 USD retail / 332 pages
A man steers a 1953 Chevy pickup onto the
parking lot at Marilyn’s Cafe, then drops dead on the gravel. Who is he and what does he mean for a forgotten Midwestern
town and The Heavenly Choir, eight times winner of the Habernine County choral competition?
It takes a lot of travel for Millie, the
soprano, and Pete, the baritone, to find what they’re not sure they’re looking for and may not recognize if they
see it. Along the way, they stumble across a paralyzed detective, spontaneously generated shoes, the nameless Grey Man, ancient
bits of parchment bound in platinum wire, the psychic twins from hell, and dreams of a skink salesman.
In the end, though, what counts isn’t
who the dead man is but what he’s given to all the lives and places he’s touched.
Derek Davis, former editor of the alternative weekly now known as The Philadelphia
Weekly, has published over 60 short stories. He was commissioned to write a book-length history of the University
of Pennsylvania Law School and also served as a editor of an SAP software customer magazine. He is presently collaborating
on a screenplay with his daughter, Caitlin, working on a screenplay of his own and has two novels in progress. His favorite
activity (other than writing) is turning trees into firewood for the wood stove that provides the "central" heating for his