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Marriage through Meena Kandasamy’s literary mirror

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 “Advice to young women who are into hero-worship: the world is full of women in love with the men who you are in love with. Learn to live with that.”

 When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy, Atlantic Books, 2017, p. 117.

Indian poet, fiction writer, translator and activist Meena Kandasamy will be joining us to talk about her recently published novel, When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife, an extraordinary story set in Southern India.

Inspired by one of Kandasamy’s past relationships, the narrative begins innocently enough, the relationship of love, but then goes on to chronicle the heart-wrenching consequences of marital abuse. Through her unnamed narrator who is seduced by politics, poetry and an enduring dream of building a better world,  she becomes not only the wife-student to the college lecturer and a self-proclaimed ‘true Maoist’ but also trapped as a prisoner whose body is controlled through total domination.  Hers is just one woman’s powerful yet disturbing story of living with the ugliness of domestic violence, however is universally relatable for millions of women.

Come and join us for this empowering talk about traditional wedlock in modern India which will be moderated by Literature Programme Manager, Hande Eagle.

As part of this event, there will be a traditional tea service by Chaigaram, a social purpose business focused on rebuilding refugee lives by creating employment opportunities by selling Indian specialist tea across the UK. If you want to have a taste of their refreshing teas, come and join us at 18.00. After the talk, there will also be a book signing and drinks reception.

About the author

Kandasamy, who currently splits her time between Chennai and London, previously published two collections of poetry as well as the critically-acclaimed novel, The Gypsy Goddess (Atlantic Books, 2014) which was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.

To book tickets for this event please click here.

General: £10, Concessions: £8, Asia House Arts Members: £5

Asia House Arts Members need to enter their unique membership number when booking online. This can be found on the back of your membership card. Please call 0207 307 5454 if you experience any issues booking tickets.


July 13, 2017
18:45 - 20:00
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Asia House
63 New Cavendish St W1G 7LP United Kingdom
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