Seduced by politics and poetry, the unnamed narrator falls in love with a university professor and agrees to be his wife, but what for her is a contract of love is for him a contract of ownership. As he sets about reducing her to his idealised version of a kept woman, bullying her out of her life as an academic and writer in the process, she attempts to push back - a resistance he resolves to break with violence and rape. Smart, fierce and courageous When I Hit You is a dissection of what love meant, means and will come to mean when trust is undermined by violence; a brilliant, throat-tightening feminist discourse on battered faces and bruised male egos; and a scathing portrait of traditional wedlock in modern India....
|Title||:||When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife|
|Number of Pages||:||256 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife Reviews
An incredibly brutal, yet deeply moving novel. Not an easy read, but unequivocally important.
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.
When I Hit You’s unnamed narrator gives a staggering account of psychological manipulation and marital abuse. The book’s patchwork structure is frenetic yet elegiac. The subject matter is distressing but approachable. Above all, Kandasamy's sharp voice and her arresting linguistic style are bread and wine for the soul. This ranks among the fiercest competitors on this year’s longlist; it will come as no sur ...more
"That is the aim of the rapes, all this rough sex. Not just a disciplining, but a disabling. He believes that after him, I will have nothing in me to love, to make love, to give pleasure. This is a man breaking his own wife. This is a man burning down his own house."
This is not for the faint of heart, the book is in fact full of paragraphs like the one cited above. Kandasamy tells the story of a highly educated Indian woman from a well-to-do family who marries a man who keeps the outward appeara ...more
When I Hit You tells the tale of a young wife's treatment at the hands of an abusive husband. First, he cuts her off and seeks to control her (making her delete her Facebook account, hand over her phone, tell him her email password) and he moves on to physically beating and raping her. This is certainly, and rightly, an upsetting and harrowing book, but in no way gratuitous. The writer takes control of her story and her life and eventually leaves the husband, after four months of marriage.
“My written body opens up only to the extent I decide to demarcate. It does not require the permission of my parents, it does not require the approval of society. My words might reveal a generous cleavage, a breaking waist, but they do not let anyone put their hands on me. Wrapping my body into words, I proof it against the prying eye, against inspection. I have sheathed it against the hands of others. My woman’s body, when it is written down, is rape resistant.”
This book… This! Book!
I had to re ...more
Many years ago, more than two decades, I was but a child of six or seven when I realized that there were hurried family discussions each night. One of my cousins had run away from her abusive husband in the US, prompting an outpouring of consternation. I don't remember all the details, but the husband apologized, there was a lot of promises made, and the cousin had to go back. I stress on the “had to.” There was no other choice. And if you want to know, yes, they are still married now.
"I am the woman who asked for tenderness and got raped in return. I am the woman who has done her sentence."
This is one hell of a book. It has had such a profound effect on me, I'm not even sure I'm happy that I finished it so quick. "When I hit you" is a very personal account of a young woman in India, and the abusive marriage she endured. The young woman is a writer, and she fell in love and married a professor. Soon after the marriage things begin to change. He starts mentally abusing her, by ...more
This is a book that felt so thrillingly alive and teeming with ideas that I frequently copied down quotes while I was reading it. Meena Kandasamy writes about a young woman reflecting on the atrociously abusive marriage that she lived through. Her narrative is very analytical as it artfully poses statements with challenging concepts and ideas about why abuse occurs, why the abused feel pressured to remain in that relationship and the challenges of extracting oneself from that relationship, but a ...more