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 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 existence. 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:
"These explorations are insightful, incisive and beautiful—and yes, touching. " —Gary Barwin, Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlisted author of Yiddish for Pirates
"Orang guides us with heart-centered intelligence in this beautiful and wise book. " —Shazia Hafiz Ramji, author of the award-winning Port of Being
"Variably paced, with a vibrant feminist subjectivity, Orang's debut is worthy of its subject, devising 'new shapes for intimacy, new words for care. ' An incredible work. " —Shane Neilson, author of Complete Physical and New Brunswick
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.