When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy: an extremely important book


Caught in the hook of love, a young woman marries a dashing university professor. She moves to a rain-washed coastal town to be with him, but behind closed doors she discovers that her perfect husband is a perfect monster. As he sets about battering her into obedience and as her family pressures her to stay in the marriage, she swears to fight back – a resistance that will either kill her or set her free.

Taken from the publisher’s website: https://atlantic-books.co.uk

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Why should you read this book?

When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, among others. Prestigious newspapers such as The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer and Financial Times considered this novel a Book Of The Year. I’ve actually read most of the books that were shortlisted for the Women’s Prize and, although this wasn’t the winner, this one was the best shortlistee I read.

When I Hit You is a novel that portrays an abusive marriage. This book takes place in India and tells the story of a young female writer who falls in love with a dashing and intelligent university professor. After the wedding, the abuse and violence begin. This novel explores so many concepts like misogyny, domestic violence, rape, manipulation, submission, sadism and even communism.

This is one of my favorite books of 2018. Reading When I Hit You was a very difficult experience. It is hard to read it as a woman. But it is so important. And, I would also like to highlight the writing that I think to be extraordinary. It’s written in an essayist style, dealing with several abstract notions. One of my favorite parts of this novel is when our protagonist rambles on about the meaning of art and writing. Another peculiarity is that Meena Kandasamy’s work can be humorous. I wouldn’t say When I Hit You is funny but some passages are so witty and cleverly-worded that make you smile. This book must be read.

I’d like to thank Atlantic Books for the free copy. You can buy it here.

“Sometimes the shame is not the beatings, not the rape.
The shaming is in being asked to stand judgment.”

Book Details:

Publisher: Atlantic Books
Published on: March 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
Price: £8,99


atlantic books meena kandasamy when i hit you

One thought on “When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy: an extremely important book

  1. Pingback: September Wrap-Up – Books Turn You On

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