Thursday, 1 March 2018

When I hit you - Meena Kandasamy

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. 

Paperback, 272 pages
Expected publication: March 1st 2018 by Atlantic Books
Fiction
for review

My thoughts:
I really do not know how to review this one. It is both raw, poetic and close.

We never even learn her name. It is told in first person and it is very matter of fact. A young writer falls for her professor. They both share a passion for communism. They marry and it all turns to hell. They are not married for long before she gets away, but that times shapes her. We see how he controls her more and more. Tells her what to do, what to think, what to wear. How he starts hitting her, raping her. How he even gets jealous of her thoughts.

But her thoughts are her freedom, in those she dreams herself away. In those she wonders how to escape. And she tells it like it is. People will always question why she did not do it before. It is never that easy. And it's not like society in India makes it easier either.

That is how it's raw and close. The poetic comes from her words. They are just flow in a simple way.  They just are...

This is her story. This is anyone's story. This is what the author went through.

I do like her way with words.


38 comments:

  1. This sounds upsetting. Is it based on a true story?

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  2. Sounds like a tough but uplifting read when she was able to leave and make something more for herself.

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  3. wow that is a lot, cringe worthy in some parts o.o

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  4. That sounds like a very emotional read.

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  5. OMG - I hate that this poor woman went through this nightmare, but admire her courage and strength to not only get away, but to share her story with others. Powerful! Hugs...RO

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    1. She says she was writing this book while she went through it cos it made her suffering less painful

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  6. It always bothers me so much when I don’t know the MC’s name. Argh. It drives me crazy.

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    1. Well I knew, but I still did not know

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  7. Seems like an intense story. I can't even imagine what's like to have that kind of toxic and dangerous relationship.

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    1. She was so in love and he was so insecure I guess

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  8. Sounds like a really tough story to read but very compelling.

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  9. I haven't heard of this book but it sounds really good. It has been a while since I read a truly powerful book like this. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

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  10. The Road did something similar with not naming anyone

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    1. Nevr read that, just watched the boring movie

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  11. This sounds really, really intense.

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    1. Intense and at the same time not as she is contemplating things

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  12. This sounds like it would be so awful to read, and being both so personal and impersonal... gah.

    Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. YOu nailed it there, it really was personal and at the same time not

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  13. Wow how awful. Good that she told her story though, maybe it helps other women, there or here or wherever.

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  14. Based on a true story? That poor woman. I am glad she fought back, and got away.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. Yes. And she tells of so many other horrid things too. Like every 90 seconds a bride is burned in India...a Bride!

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  15. it doesn't sound easy for her but it looks interesting!

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  16. Well the facts are horrible. That may be why I don't need to read more than what I actually get from local newspapers.

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    1. She mentions this horrible news article and it made me sick

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  17. So heartbreaking that this is based on a true story, but at least she got away in the end. There are some really awful people out there!

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