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:
"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