Wednesday, March 21, 2007


A modern classic, Water, set in the summer of 1969 in the middle of the worst drought seen in Chennai, portrays the daily struggle of ordinary people trying to survive the crisis. Water, or the lack of it, is the recurrent metaphor in this realist-impressionist novella. An entire landscape of thirst is masterfully conjured up by the story’s locus on a single street whose very existence (and near destruction) revolves around the everyday quest for water.

The Indian Express
(January 20, 2002)

“It is a simple story, told simply, written simply and woven as a simple yarn. Yet Water holds one’s attention in the first few lines itself.”

- Prarthana Gahilote

First City Magazine
(February, 2002)

“The writer has been described as someone ‘who can bring out the strength of simplicity, who can make the everydayness of life speak’. The novel is well written, Ashokamitran has an interesting narrative style and water is a recommended read.”

The Sunday Statesman
(20 January, 2002)

The vision of women’s empowerment which emerges in Water is nothing short of remarkable, advocating as it does, freedom of choice, the mark of liberation in the true sense of the term. Were it not for Holmstrom’s translation of this work into English from the original in Tamil, Water would have remained confined to a select readership. We owe her however, a greater debt of gratitude for the quality of her translation. The transition from the source to the target language is so effortlessly achieved as to make us forget that the English version of Water is not the original one.
(Kathmandu, Sunday, February 24, 2002)

“Water is a lyrical novella, and the best kind of literary translation: it gives readers a chance to enter the imaginative world of another language while also enjoying themselves. It also lets readers re-discover the novella form, which is common in regional language literature, but unusual in English. This book is so refreshing, it almost tempts me to re-read my collection of Katha Prize Stories anthologies."

The author


The translator

Lakshmi Holmstrom

Publishers: Katha
Category: Katha Trailblazer Series/Novel
Cover Painting: Shamshad Hussain
Statistics: 5.25" x 7.5", 160 pages
ISBN 81-87649-13-5 [HB]
Price: Rs 150 [only in India and the subcontinent]

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