4.5 million readers and counting … Kristen Roupenian’s ‘Cat Person’ was the first short story ever to go viral. To put it down to hype, however, would be to do the American writer an injustice. A storm of ‘hype’ is in fact too weak to describe what happened to her – and above all, Roupenian has a lot more to offer.
Cat Person, an online phenomenon
Prior to 2017, Kristen Roupenian had obtained a PhD in African literature at Harvard University and published a handful of pieces in small, hip literary magazines. Nice, but nothing to write home about. And then she released ‘Cat Person’, a short story about a nasty sexual collision between a 20-year-old student and an older man. In late 2017 The New Yorker picked up the story, and then everything changed. What followed was an online sensation, Twitter storms, a bidding war between publishers with crazy amounts for stories still to be written and a contract with HBO to shoot Roupenian’s first story collection.
You Know You Want This
Roupenian’s first story collection is here now. You Know You Want This includes ‘Cat Person’ and a string of other stories of the same kind. They are all titillating, free-flowing miniatures about sex, dating and modern life. Roupenian’s world is populated by women – at home, at work, on dates, at the doctor’s, in relation to their family and friends. These women wrestle with desire and guilt, crime and punishment. In a witty, biting, ironic and explicit style, Roupenian explores the at times murky power relations between men and women – and adds a little extra on top.
Kristen Roupenian will sign her books at 19:30 in Beursschouwburg. Books will be for sale at the signing.
Passa Porta, Nieuw Amsterdam, Beursschouwburg