When I Hit You
Meena Kandasamy is a poet, fiction writer, translator and activist. Her second novel, When I Hit You, is the chronicle of an abusive marriage, a fierce and courageous take on traditional wedlock in modern India and a celebration of the invincible power of art.
Seduced by politics, poetry and an enduring dream of building a better world together, the unnamed narrator falls in love with a university professor. Moving with him to a rain-washed coastal town, she swiftly learns that what for her is a bond of love is for him a contract of ownership. As he sets about reducing her to his idealised version of an obedient wife, bullying her and devouring her ambition of being a writer in the process, she attempts to push back – a resistance he resolves to break with violence and rape.
Image credit: Teri Pengilley