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Touch Anywhere to Begin (eBOOK)

Touch Anywhere to Begin (eBOOK)

256 pages
Published:   September 20, 2022
Non-Fiction  /  Travel
ePub:   9780864927231    $19.95

Shortlisted, New Brunswick Book Award (Non-Fiction)

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.
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Mark Anthony Jarman is an award-winning Canadian author of six books of fiction and the critically acclaimed Ireland’s Eye. He has won a National Magazine Award in non-fiction, and his essays have appeared in the Walrus, Canadian Geographic, Hobart, the Barcelona Review, Vrig Nederland, and the Globe and Mail. He lives in Fredericton.


Shortlisted: New Brunswick Book Award (Non-Fiction)


“The word travel, Mark Anthony Jarman tells us, is linked to travail and error, to wander and err. In these vivid essays he wanders the world, each one offering a new adventure. Some are haunted by the solemn, whether the pandemic or the death of a friend, while others are light-hearted and wry. All of them reminded me of the unexpectedness of travel and the surprise of chance encounters — everything we gain from going somewhere we’ve never been before.” — Alix Ohlin, author of We Want What We Want

“Mark Anthony Jarman is a formidable interpreter of place. In these wide-ranging essays, inspired by travel but which supersede mere travel writing, he turns a sharp, observant eye on the mystery of experience and consciousness. He has the rare ability to take the reader with him on these fascinating journeys with picaresque wit and an alertness that never fails to both inform and entertain.” — Jean McNeil, author of Ice Diaries: An Antarctic Memoir

“A vigorously kinetic book at the cusp of the global and the planetary. Its journeys and antijourneys take us where we want to go but resist going. These pages also shimmer with a radical love for the well-made literary sentence. Read anywhere.” — Jaspreet Singh, author of Face: A Novel of the Anthropocene

“Through the meat mazes of Venice, Croatia, Ireland, China and back to the Mediterranean, Jarman lays thick the theme that travel changes us. Through the “atonal orchestras” of Mumbai to the “rhythmic constellations” of street dancers, it is apparent that life is a dance, and the end notes not necessarily always where we meant to go.” — Atlantic Books Today

Touch Anywhere to Begin is a rich and satisfying collection of personal essays garnered from the journeys of a wanderer by nature. Mark Anthony Jarman is a quirky and sometimes irritable travel companion who describes himself as a rotten traveller..., but whose deep love for the places and people he meets along the way...will have you hanging on every word. And it’s not just what he writes about that will keep you riveted; it’s his first-rate writing that will hold you.” — Miramichi Reader

“Vivid descriptions help give readers a sense of each destination, while the author’s personal reflections help connect the stories to each other.” — Winnipeg Free Press