The Sunday Edition

This searing novel about domestic violence is a damning exposé of India's big problem

Meena Kandasamy is an award-winning Indian poet, writer and activist. Her novel, 'When I Hit You: Or A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife', is as much memoir as it is fiction, inspired by her own violent marriage.
Indian women protest against the rape of the eight year old in Mandsaur, Madhaya Pradesh, in New Delhi on June 30, 2018. (CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images)

There is no denying that the #MeToo movement is having a profound impact on gender relationships. Every day brings new revelations, as women find their voices and powerful men fall from grace.

But not everywhere.

Millions of women around the world continue to experience sexual violence every day. 

India's Meena Kandasamy, one of the shortlisted authors for the Women's Prize for Fiction poses in London on June 6, 2018. (TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)

According to a new survey, India is the most dangerous country in the world for women. Sexual violence, human trafficking, forced marriage, stoning and female infanticide are still horrifyingly real.

Just last month, a teenager in eastern India was abducted, raped and burned to death by her attackers. In April, the brutal rape and murder of an 8-year-old Muslim girl by eight Hindu men, prompted nationwide protests.

None of this surprises Meena Kandasamy. She is an award-winning Indian poet, writer and translator, and an outspoken supporter of India's Dalit people known as untouchables. 

Kandasamy survived a short but violent marriage in 2011. Her own history informs her latest novel. When I Hit You: Or A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife was a finalist for the 2018 'Women's Prize for Fiction' in Britain. It has been described as "a searing examination of a woman's place in contemporary Indian society."

Kandasamy lives in both Chennai, India and London. She joined The Sunday Edition remotely from the London studio.

Click 'listen' to hear Meena Kandasamy's conversation with guest host Gillian Findlay.