Atlantic Books is to publish the second book by Meena Kandasamy in spring 2017.
Editor James Roxburgh acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding India) to When I Hit You, or A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife from David Godwin at DGA.
Informed and inspired by her own experiences, Kandasamy’s follow up to Gypsy Goddess (also Atlantic) is a "dazzling and provocative" novel of an abusive marriage. Seduced by politics and poetry, the unnamed narrator falls in love with a university professor and agrees to be his wife, but what for her is a contract of love is for him a contract of ownership. As he sets about reducing her to his idealised version of a kept woman, bullying her out of her life as an academic and writer in the process, she attempts to push back – a resistance he resolves to break with violence and rape.
Roxburgh said: “This book undid me. It is as fierce, smart, graceful and courageous as its author. It is a dissection of what love meant, means and will come to mean when trust is undermined by violence; a brilliant, throat-tightening feminist discourse on battered faces and bruised male egos; a scathing portrait of traditional wedlock in modern India. To my mind, there will not be a book published next year that is more important, more ugly but more profoundly beautiful than this one.”