The Brutality Of An Abusive Marriage In When I Hit You Or, A Portrait Of The Writer As A Young Wife By Meena Kandasamy
Meena Kandasamy has a sharp antenna for injustice. In her debut novel, Gypsy Goddess (2014), she wrote about the exploitation of Dalits, anchoring it in a Christmas day massacre at Kilvenmani village in 1968, her rage about inequalities evident. Her books of poems (Touch, Ms. Militancy) are searing commentaries on caste, class, love, sex, life. In 2012, in an emotional piece on her broken marriage with an abusive husband, Kandasamy wondered if she could overcome the nightmare. When I Hit You or, a Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife was most recognized novel by Meena Kandasamy.
The 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 idealized version of an obedient wife, bullying her and devouring her ambition of being a writer in the process, she attempts to push back â€“ a resistance he resolves to break with violence and rape. At once the chronicle of an abusive marriage and a celebration of the invincible power of art, When I Hit You is a smart, fierce and courageous take on traditional wedlock in modern India.
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