the short story project

Water Breaking

Our Editors On:

Water Breaking by Dorit Rabinyan

Dorit Rabinyan’s protagonist is caught in a generational gap, and angry waters threaten to annihilate him. His wife, who is about to give birth to their child, is on one side of the umbilical cold, while his parents are on the other. The waterfall flowing in the photograph tacked on his parents’ wall is ominous and threatens to overpower him, to drown him. The photograph, a faded remnant from the 1970’s, exemplifies the determinism of lineage and propagation: the past will define the future. With her expertly crafted prose, masterfully playing with the language and enlivening the senses, Rabinyan presents a brilliant story that navigates the tensions between tradition and modernity, the past and the present, and the establishment of a new family — as the story of a woman leaving her family to join her husband lies behind the figure of the male protagonist, who will only part with his paternal home at the moment his wife gives birth to their first-born child.