When I Hit You: Or A Portrait Of The Writer As A Young Wife – Meena Kandasamy

Chosen by Rachel

An unnamed narrator tells a story of domestic violence and modern marriage in India through the beauty of literature.”

➽ “Named for James Joyce’s debut novel, this book examines modern Inidan marriages and brutality in a way not done before. It is not simply a novel about domestic violence, it is an analysis on the art of writing about abuse. Kandasamy’s narrator does not perform victimhood but rather lays the facts bare in a banal, expected kind of way. In doing so she demonstrates how women of all walks of life suffer as such, and that they are women of intellect and ability, with hopes and dreams, not just “battered women”. I think the author has done here what so many writers have attempted before but failed at. She has written an exposé on domestic violence without using shock value, empowered others in the same position and created a work of art. It was a deeply satisfying read.” – Rachel

➽ “The poetic writing style of this suspected (not overtly confirmed by the author) autobiographical story makes for a beautiful read despite the horrific violence recounted. I feel educated about domestic violence – I always thought I understood why women stayed in abusive relationships but after reading her account my comprehension has deepened considerably. The survivor in this story needed to make sure others could see what she had been through in order to successfully escape without bringing further shame on herself and her family. A truly disturbing reveal of domestic violence and societal expectations and prejudice in India.” – Jo

➽ “When I Hit You is a raw and powerful novel about a young Indian women’s abusive and oppressive marriage. Kandasamy reveals what can happen behind closed doors of a marriage, a scary look into what some woman have to endure. Kandasamy has written a harrowing account of domestic violence in a beautifully artistic way – I thoroughly enjoyed her way with words. An incredible piece of writing I highly recommend.” – Jodie

Published 2017
Atlantic Books
256 pages

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