It’s not every day that a work of fiction goes viral. In fact, it hardly ever happens. But when Kristen Roupenian’s short story “Cat Person” appeared in The New Yorker last week, it struck a chord and became one of the most-read pieces this year.
Inspired by an experience of Roupenian’s own, the story follows a college student, Margot, who has uncomfortable and unpleasant sex with an older man who continues to text her after their encounter. The story has appealed to countless people, and has been described, in its depiction of unwanted, though consensual sex, as ‘excruciating.’ That is true. It is excruciating. And painfully honest and also very, very funny. I would suggest listening to Roupenian’s reading of it on The New Yorker website. I did, as I was writing this article, and snorted audibly several times out of amusement, empathy, and downright disgust. It’s really very good.
Kristen Roupenian | Image Via The New York Times
Kristen Roupenian’s debut book will be a short story collection entitled You Know You Want This, and will be published by Jonathan Cape, with whom she has signed a five figure deal.
Michal Shavat, Jonathan Cape’s publishing director, told The Bookseller
This book marks the arrival of a remarkable new talent. The cultural discourse that has revolved around ‘Cat Person’ has been astonishing, a talking point around the globe. But it’s in the writing that the really interesting thing is happening. This is going to be a major publishing event in the coming year and we’re hugely excited and proud to be launching this phenomenal new voice.
Roupenian is a Zell Fellow at the University of Michigan. According to The Bookseller, last year she won the Grand Prize at the Eleventh Annual Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards.
Featured Image Via The Daily Snug