When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy

When I Hit You

Meena Kandasamy

This is no easy read, and knowing it’s based on the author’s own experiences of domestic abuse makes it even harder. Watching her gradual alienation from society, and from her family and friends, you wonder if she can ever possibly manage to escape her powerful, domineering husband. The writing manages to be both poetic and beautiful, yet also desperately dark and disturbing. Raw and honest, domestic and political; you can’t help but be moved.


My husband is in the kitchen. He is channelling his anger, practising his outrage. I am the wooden cutting board banged against the countertop. I am the clattering plates flung into the cupboards. I am the unwashed glass being thrown to the floor. Shatter and shards and diamond sparkle of tiny pieces. My hips and thighs and breasts and buttocks. Irreversible crashing sounds, a fragile sight of brokenness as a petty tyrant indulges in a power-trip. Not for the first time, and not for the last.

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