When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy

33905006In its allusion to A Portrait of a Writer as a Young Man, the title of Meena Kandasamy’s second book reflects Joyce’s tale in which a fictional alter ego searches for his identity in late-nineteenth century Dublin. Similarly, in When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife, Kandasamy describes her own experiences as an abused and dehumanised wife in South India and her struggle to both retain and also create her identity. Her husband, a respected university English lecturer gradually dominates every facet of her life, including what she writes and who she talks to. Continue reading