Touch Anywhere to Begin

New!

From acclaimed author Mark Anthony Jarman comes Touch Anywhere to Begin, his first book of travel writing since the publication of the critically acclaimed Ireland’s Eye in 2002.

In 18 unusual, head-spinning essays, Jarman can drift through Venice amid the revelry of carnival and the arrival of the impending pandemic or visit a private club along Shanghai’s Huangpu River to be serenaded by a band of retired People’s Liberation Army singers. In “Panthers and Gods Prowl a Palace of Sin,” an invitation to the Kala Ghoda Festival in Mumbai forges a connection with a jetlagged pair of Arctic throat singers and a doctor fascinated by Canada. In “Jesus on the Mainline,” an extended hospitalization beside the intubated victim of a drunk-driving accident reveals a difficult family drama.

And this, of course, is only the beginning. Masterfully written, Touch Anywhere to Begin penetrates the impressionistic moments and intimacies of travel to reveal character and place like none other.

Contributors

Mark Anthony Jarman

Mark Anthony Jarman is the author of six books of fiction and two travel books, Touch Anywhere to Begin and Ireland’s Eye, a finalist for an American Independent Publishers’ Award. His short-story collection 19 Knives won the ReLit Award and was praised by A.S. Byatt in the Guardian as “brilliant. The writing is extraordinary, the stories are gripping, it is something new.”
Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price

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The essay “Drunkards! I Molest You!” reflects on Venice in February 2020, mediaeval plagues, Covid-19, the San Michele cemetery, yelling from speed boats, and laughing nuns. 12 $1.20

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The essay “My Nights with the Generals Shanghai” reflects on the history of Shanghai, the Opium Wars, the People’s Liberation Army in the present day, Chairman Mao, and nostalgia. 9 $0.90

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The essay “Anchorless and Gutted on Stromboli Rock’ reflects on nostalgia, the Arran Islands, Ireland, and nature. 14 $1.40

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The essay “The Drunken Widower Necks with the Virgin Mary in the Trogir Cathedral Sacked by Saracens in 1123’ reflects on loss, grief, cathedrals, Muslim and Christian cooperation, and a lonely … 14 $1.40

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The essay “Falling Woman” reflects on uncertainty, death, disparities, greed, the Second World War, and regret in Shanghai. 9 $0.90

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The essay “Harris Green Below the Christian Science Reading Room” reflects on gentrification, mental health, public parks, wellness culture, and violence in Victoria, British Columbia. 5 $0.50

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The essay “Meat and Metal in Mittel Europa’ reflects on the Central European obsession with meat. 14 $1.40

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The essay “Professor Longhair Parries Death in Shanghai ” reflects on the booming industrial development of China, driving and congestion, and taxi’s in Shanghai. 7 $0.70

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The essay “The Crooked Grocer” reflects on Liv, Norway, drugs, overdose and loss, Partick, missed opportunities and being haunted by life in the midwest. 18 $1.80

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The essay “Panthers and Gods Prowl a Gilded Palace” is an essay dedicated to Bharati Mukherjee and his love of Canada. 16 $1.60

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The essay “What would Jesus’s Robot Do?” reflects on Bill the cowboy, illness, rehabilitation, and death. 12 $1.20

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The essay “Jesus on the Mainline” reflects on the author’s recovery from a stroke, his time in the hospital, religion, his new roommate Jim and the accident which paralysed him, and their … 15 $1.50

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The essay “Lucky Man with Three Wives” reflects on the Festa de São João do Porto, a Sengali salesman named Kevin, the Douro River, tourists and the tourism industry, salt and colonialism in Mexico. 18 $1.80

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The essay “Vienna’s Apology to the Pigs” reflects on the art and architecture of the Habsburg Empire, wandering,  homogeneity of the modern world, and food in Vienna. 11 $1.10

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The essay “The Bright Drug of Travel” reflects on paranoia, counter revolution, spying, and communism in China. 28 $2.80

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The essay “The Secret Spritz Bar” reflects on bar hopping in Italy. 14 $1.40

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The essay “Pulled Pandemia Blues” is a letter written to Clarrissa and Marco from April 2020. 2 $0.20

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The essay “Offering From a Wolf” reflects on his home, plans, life, and family in his home city of Fredericton. New Brunswick. 13 $1.30