The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

WoWasis book review: ‘Killing the Water,’ Bangladeshi stories by Mahmud Rahman

Written By: herbrunbridge - Apr• 30•13

KillingWaterRahmanBangladeshi writer Mahmud Rahman knows his Boston. And Providence and Oakland as well. He’s lived in all three places, got a writing degree from Oakland’s Mills College, and in his book Killing the Water (2010, ISBN 978-014-306-5036), he explores the somewhat murky, yet romantic and fascinating world of a Bangladeshi trying to make his way in the United States. He writes about Bangladesh too, in this book, but we found his US-based stories to be the most compelling and universally interesting.

Here at WoWasis, we know our Orange Line, the subway in Boston that runs through Roxbury. We actually drove a taxi in that area as well. Rahman’s story Orange Line is a fascinating and nearly morbid tale of a dark-skinned person caught among some idiot toughs from Southie, and he nearly dies, until rescued at Dudley Station. Rahman has a deft touch with romantic themes. His Yuralda investigates the dynamic between the protagonist and a Dominican laundress, while Smoke Signals climbs into a delicate relationship fractured by a real or perceived slight.

Our favorite story was Postcards from a Stranger, a tale told through a series of postcards, written to a woman who misplaced a book. Until the end of the tale, there is no response, but the writer manages to detail the fine points of a relationship taking place on a trip through the United States. The ending is surprising and well-crafted.

Rahman’s a very good writer, at his best in this book when unveiling the feelings of an immigrant trying to navigate foreign customs in a new country. His characters interact with African-Americans, Dominicans, and other South Asians. His notion for suspense keeps the reader riveted until the final page of the story, making this 200 page book a solid read.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.