CLARKSVILLE, TN – In her new collection of essays memories of paradise, by Erin Langner the prose delivers “stories on the brink of loss or grief, sensations that none of us seem able to escape.”
The prose proved so powerful that it prompted creative non-fiction writer Wendy S. Walters to name Langner the 2021 winner of Press the 3′ area Non-Fiction Creative Book Award.
“With beautiful, clear-eyed prose, she manages to invite us into the most intimate spaces of personal transformation and testimony of need,” Walters wrote in her judge’s statement, also quoted above. “I admire the way she describes becoming as a consequence of a relationship, whether a connection lasts a lifetime or just a few days.”
Clarksville-area readers will have the opportunity to hear about these connections when Langner and Walters visit Austin Peay State University for the book launch and reading. The reading will take place at 7 p.m. on November 3 in the Heydel Hall of the Art + Design building (room 120).
“Competition readings are always a top event for me because they bring together a well-established writer with the emerging writer whose work they have selected,” said Dr. Amy Wrighteditor for area 3 newspaper and non-fiction editor for Zone 3 Press. “I love learning why particular manuscripts stand out for our judges.”
But the reading also gives area residents a chance to hear Walters read.
“I am particularly delighted this year to hear Wendy S.Walters read because I have been a huge fan of his innovative collection Multiply/Divide: On the American Real and the Surrealnamed “best book of the year” in 2015said Wright, who is also a professor in the Department of Languages and Literature and creative writing coordinator for the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at Austin Peay.
“Illustrating the weight of emotion”
by Langner memories of paradise “gives us Las Vegas in all its twinkling lights” while examining “what makes the city so special and how it has contributed to the artist, curator, sister and mother that it is today”, Megan Stielstra, author of The wrong way to save your lifewrote in his eulogy of the book.
To Sari Botton, author of And you can find yourself …, the book is a “deeply moving meditation on family and loss, and the obsessions we turn to as a distraction from grief.
“Ironically, through the funhouse mirror of Las Vegas, a city filled with artifice, Langner is able to show us her true reflection and understand herself as a bereaved mother and daughter,” Botton continued. “The result is a resonant, relatable and soulfully entertaining travelogue.”
But Walters’ words in his Zone 3 Press Creative Nonfiction Book Award judgment of the book might resonate the most.
“A lyrical intensity runs through the collection, illustrating the weight of emotion,” she writes. “Langner’s ease in writing about grief is also astounding, as there is no intent to hide or brush it away. We live with it everywhere, all the time, because that too is life.
You can order memories of paradise at Austin Peay Zone 3 News Market Webpage.