Rahman’s stories, all 12 of them, have backdrops as varied as the lingering smell of dried fish curry accompanied with the thud of a wooden spoon against a clay pot in Modhupur in the 1930s’ east India, to the sudden blast of hot air that fogs one’s glasses when you enter a laundromat from the winter chill of Providence in Rhode Island.
In between, there are stories set in the years of insurrection and war in Bangladesh. In Kerosene, a striking tale that opens with a violent paragraph, a revolutionary is in conflict with the sudden upheaval of war and circumstances that lead him to commit a heinous act.
–Arindam Mukherjee at Open Magazine
It was a comfort, personally, to read something in which characters were almost constantly moving, from either one place or one state of being to another. As someone who was feeling both unsettled in place and in temperament, I identified immediately with the collection’s theme of transition and adaptation. (While reading the book I was reminded, at times, of Arjun Appadurai’s discussions of “ethnoscapes” and the movement of groups and the remaking of identities, something which Killing the Water depicts skillfully, especially in the latter stories that feature immigrants from Bangladesh living and working in American cities, struggling with the choice of what to keep from their old lives and what to leave behind as they engage with a new culture.)
–Kevin Hyde at the Asymptote blog
A debutant writer, considered often as an arriviste, is taken with a pinch of salt.
But expatriate writer Mahmud Rahman gives one the delight of having to discover that beneath the foam and fizz of an exuberant debut there’s a dark, strong drink.
Rahman’s collection of stories makes for a heady cocktail which despite the disparity of themes in their alternately itinerant order — war, violence, displacement, migration, flow and movement — coalesce into something far greater than the sum of its parts.
–Prasenjit Chowdhury at the Deccan Herald
- Kevin Hyde’s review at the Asymptote Blog.
- Stories about lingering sadness, Moazzam Sheikh’s review in The News International.
- WoWasis book review, review in the Asian travel blog WoWasis.
- KILLING THE WATER… LITERATURA Y GEOGRAFÍA , review from Mexico by Francisco Javier Haro Navejas at his blog El Mundo En Mapas Y Planos.
- Più acqua che terra, review from Italy by Silvia Merialdo at her blog Indian words/Leggere l’India.
- Itinerant stories of yearning, Prasenjit Chowdhury’s review in The Deccan Herald
- An ode to survival, Murtaza Ali Jafri’s review in Dawn
- Happiness at a price? Anuradha Kumar’s review in The Book Review (Pdf copy)
- Postcards from the soul, Zafar Sobhan’s review in The Star Magazine
- Arindam Mukherjee’s review in Open Magazine
- No stomach for ideology, Shakil Rabbi’s review in New Age Xtra
- Not quite a liquid refreshment, Sanjib Kumar Baruah’s review in Hindustan Times
- Subcontinental drift, Sanjay Sipahimalani’s review at LiveMint.com
- Insightful tales, Abdullah Khan’s review in The Hindu Literary Review
- Shifts in time and space, Anuradha Kumar’s review in The Telegraph – Calcutta
- Surabhi Pudasaini’s review in Himal Southasian
- A Paperback Picking at The Telegraph – Calcutta