When I Hit You

Meena Kandasamy

RRP: £8.99

1 March 2018

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781786491282

RRP: £12.99

4 May 2017

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781786491268

RRP: £7.99

4 May 2017

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781786491275

Longlisted for the Jhalak Prize, 2018
Longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, 2018

Guardian’s Best Books of 2017
Daily Telegraph’s Best Books of 2017
Observer Best Books of 2017
Financial Times Best Books of 2017

“Meena Kandasamy’s vivid, sharp and precise writing makes a triumph of When I Hit You: Or, a Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife(Atlantic)”- Guardian

Seduced by politics, poetry and an enduring dream of building a better world together, the unnamed 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 idealised version of an obedient wife, bullying her and devouring her ambition of being a writer in the process, she attempts to push back – a resistance he resolves to break with violence and rape.


Probably one of the most important and shocking and poetic books of 2017

Courageous and brave and disturbing and will stay with you for a long time

Fierce and unforgettable

Searing... I read it in a single sitting
Fatima Bhutto

Brilliant... Astonishing... By far the best read of the year
Women Writers

This book is so so good. One of the best of the yearNikesh Shukla

Such raw, lyrical reading
RTE Arena

A brilliant but brutal punch to the gutsMonisha Rajesh

Urgent... It's beating heart is a universally recognised quest for freedom and meaning in a world where women are still shockingly undervalued
Financial Times

Heartbreaking... It isn't an easy read, but it is an important one
The F-Word

A punch to the gut
The Wire

The best thing I've read in 2017. Simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting, it's a work of considerable power
The Page is Printed

Read it as an extended prose poem, a feminist anthem, an experiment with life. But do read it.
The Daily O