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|
|Url Type||:||Home » When » When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife|
When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife Reviews
Must read. For everyone.
If you are a woman, read this book and tell yourself how bad some people in this world could be. If you are a man, read it to know the atrocities women have to put up with. If you are a parent, read this to know that you have to support your girl and teach your boy to be a sensitive human being. And if you are a citizen of the world, read it to know how harsh the world is and how quick it is to judge, in many cases.
The soft-gore, emotional abuse , physical torture and th ...more
4.5 rounded up
Wow. Given the title I expected this book to be intense and hard-hitting but I still don't think I was completely prepared for how raw and graphic this was.
Our unnamed narrator (a young Indian woman writer in her late 20s) has a secret affair with and ends up marrying an older political activist and moves in with him, isolating her from her family. Almost immediately after marriage the domestic abuse begins. Her husband is a paranoid, sick and manipulative person, harming himself a ...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.
An incredible work of creativity in working through the post-trauma of domestic violence.
I am reminded of the quote I shared on my blog, in my review of Aminatta Forna's Happiness, a quote that came from Salman Rushdie in fact.
“Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts.”
Meena Kandasamy has taken charge of her story ...more
I am the woman who has tried to shield herself from the pain of the first person singular …. I am the woman who stands in place of the woman who loathes to enter this story in any of its narrations … because that woman has struggled so hard and long to wriggle out of it – and now when asked to speak, she would much rather send a substitute. Sharing stories might be catharsis, but to her it is the second, more sophisticated punishment. I am the woman deputed on her behalf.
Now shortlisted for th ...more
I discovered 'When I Hit You' through reader-members of a book group that I am part of. It looked like a tough read but a book which was hard to resist. I couldn't. I read the book slowly but read most of it in a day. Here is what I think.
'When I Hit You' is a story told in the first person. The unnamed woman narrator talks about how she fell in love with a professor and married him. She is a writer, is widely read, has a deep and wide intellect, and has leftist leanings. He seems to have simila ...more
As a man, I don't feel capable of writing a conventional review of this compelling, intensely personal, visceral, brutal, raw and above all human story of how a talented young poet and writer found herself trapped in an abusive marriage, and how she eventually escaped from it. All I can do is to spread the word and urge others to read it.
We are discussing this book in the 21st Century Literature group this month here:
It is a book that roused many responses in me, not always good. In the beginning, just after reading a few pages, I made up my mind about the writer. She proved me right, to an extent, in the first half of the book. It is terrible when one's negative thoughts about the other come true. This book for me is more like an essay than a novel. In the beginning, it reads like as if the author has read too much theory. There is nothing wrong with reading theories, but one hardly writes a good novel by u ...more