Writing Coercive Control
Writing Coercive Control Episode 4: Chimene Suleyman

Writing Coercive Control Episode 4: Chimene Suleyman

On her memoir THE CHAIN, coercive control in intimate partner relationships, and how we resist

Coercive control is endemic and therefore it must be cultural. If 1 in 2 women experience coercive control, it’s in our homes in childhood. How does this affect us? And how do we talk—and write—about it? This 6-part live-recorded, interactive talk series will inspire writers and readers to explore literature about coercive control in wider contexts, including state control, parent/child relationships, historical control, and control in industry and workplace. Guest authors Sahar Delijani, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, Winnie M Li, Chimene Suleyman, Kim Moore, and Carla Jenkins, meet with host, author Abigail Tarttelin, to discuss their experiences writing coercive control.

In this episode, London-based writer and co-editor of THE GOOD IMMIGRANT USA Chimene Suleyman talks about writing her memoir of an abusive relationship, THE CHAIN.

In January 2017, Chimene Suleyman was on her way to an abortion clinc in Queens, New York with her boyfriend, the father of her nascent child. It was the last day they would spend together. In an astonishing sequence of events, Chimene was to discover the truth of her boyfriend's life: that she and many other women had been subtly, patiently and painfully betrayed in the most traumatic and sinister of ways.

Exploring how women are duped every day by individuals, Chimene interrogates how society itself continually allows this to happen. She demonstrates that, no matter how intelligent, educated or self-aware a woman might be, over time they can be played into performing the age-old role of giver and nurturer: self-sacrificing and subordinate.

Both a devastating personal testimony and a searing indictment of persistent misogyny, The Chain is a book for any woman who has questioned her relationship and buried her doubts, for any woman who can't quite identify the source of her unease and for any woman who has been sheltered by the fierce protection of her female friends.

With host, author Abigail Tarttelin, Chimene talks about several aspects of the book and her work, including socialisation of women to care for men, normalising of weaponised incompetence, and how we can save ourselves from coercive control.

Also, host Abigail reads from her own work-in-progress novel, ORDINARY WOMAN TURNS 30, an autofiction novel about a woman dealing with the aftermath of coercive control in an intimate partner relationship as she approaches her 30th birthday.

Follow Chimene on https://Instagram.com/chimenesuleyman 

THE CHAIN is available now to purchase or order through all good bookstores.

Follow Abigail as she writes her novel on Substack at abigailtarttelin.Substack.com 

Send your questions and comments for the podcast to Abigail’s https://Instagram.com/abigailtarttelin_

Abigail’s novels FLICK, DEAD GIRLS, and GOLDEN BOY are available now to purchase or order through all good bookstores.

This podcast is co-produced by Abigail and Clear Lines Festival. Clear Lines started in 2015 as the UK's first festival addressing sexual assault and consent through the arts and discussion. Since then, their events have continued to promote a survivor-centered dialogue that emphasizes creativity, community, and artistic self-expression. You can check out their website with videos of past events at:


And sign up to their newsletter to learn about upcoming events through their network:


They also offer a free downloadable creative writing guide for survivors of sexual violence and abuse:


This podcast is supported by Arts Council England.

Writing Coercive Control
Conversations with six authors, sharing works exploring coercive control in domestic, workplace, national, and trans-cultural spheres. A 2024 Arts Council England-funded podcast from writer Abigail Tarttelin and Clear Lines Festival.
|| Follow Abigail’s work at abigailtarttelin.substack.com and on Instagram @abigailtarttelin_ || Find out more about Clear Lines Festival: www.clearlines.org.uk