CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – In her new collection of essays, “Dear Sound of Footstep,” author Ashley Butler tackles such strange subjects as the fastest man on earth and the bizarre, echo-free chamber at Harvard University. But if you were to ask someone who read this compelling work what it was about, they might give simple one-word answers, such as “mortality” or “existence.” More specifically, the essays in this book use their subjects to explore the death of Butler’s mother from cancer, and the author’s estranged relationship with her father.
“In this eloquent sequence of essays, the earth and our fantasies of earthly life (and death) perform dynamic rituals of relation,” the acclaimed writer Thalia Field said. “Relation itself takes on an array of forms, bounded by the adventures of young adulthood, and the fear of leaving nothing, or everything, behind.”
At 8 p.m. on Nov. 7, Butler will give a reading from her debut essay collection at the Honors Commons on the Austin Peay State University campus. The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception and book signing.
“The candid narrative evolves into a stunning, abstract deconstruction of time and space, piloting the reader precariously close to the unanswered question, ‘Why are we here?’” a review in Publishers Weekly stated about the book.
Butler’s essays have appeared in literary journals such as Ninth Letter, Gulf Coast, Creative Nonfiction and Pool. She was born and raised in Virginia, and she went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa.
For more information on the reading, contact the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at 221-7876.