Where Things Touch: A Meditation on Beauty by Bahar Orang


Where Things Touch: A Meditation on Beauty by Bahar Orang


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Available June 18, 2020 — Pre-order Now

To devote oneself to the study of beauty is to offer footnotes to the universe for all the places and all the moments that one observes beauty. I can no longer grab beauty by her wrists and demand articulation or meaning. I can only take account of where things touch.

Part lyric essay, part prose poetry, Where Things Touch: A Meditation on Beauty grapples with the manifold meanings and possibilities of beauty.

Drawing on her experiences as a physician-in-training, Orang considers clinical encounters and how they relate to the concept and very idea of beauty. Such considerations lead her to questions about intimacy, queerness, home, memory, love, and other aspects of human experience. Throughout, beauty is ultimately imagined as something inextricably tied to care: the care of lovers, of patients, of art and literature, and the various non-human worlds that surround us.

Eloquent and meditative in its approach, beauty, here, beyond base expectations of frivolity and superficiality, is conceived of as a thing to recover. Where Things Touch is an exploration of an essential human pleasure, a necessary freedom by which to challenge what we know of ourselves and the world we inhabit.



Praise for Where Things Touch: A Meditation on Beauty:

“A strikingly lyric thoughtful new voice, Orang writes with the knowledge that feeling is intelligence and thought is sensory. ‘What happens to beauty when it’s removed from its own dirt?’ Beauty is tangled with language, with a lover, with medicine, flowers, ocean, care and compassion. These explorations are insightful, incisive and beautiful—and yes, touching.”
—Gary Barwin, Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlisted author of Yiddish for Pirates

Press Coverage:

2020 Spring Preview: Nonfiction —Quill and Quire

Most Anticipated: Spring 2020 Nonfiction Preview —49th Shelf

40 Works of Canadian Nonfiction to Watch for in Spring 2020 —CBC Books

Bahar Orang is a writer and physician-in-training living in Toronto. She has a BASc from McMaster University and an MA in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto. She completed her MD at McMaster University, and is now completing specialty training in psychiatry in Toronto. Her poetry and essays have been published in such places as GUTS, Hamilton Arts & Letters, CMAJ, and Ars Medica. Where Things Touch: A Meditation on Beauty is her first book.

Essais Series No. 10
June 18, 2020 | Hybrid | Nonfiction / Lyric Essay / Prose Poetry
7.75 x 4.75 inches | 114 pages
Trade Paper ISBN 9781771665698