Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning writer Kristen Roupenian—author of the viral The New Yorker short story "Cat Person"—for a discussion of her debut collection, YOU KNOW YOU WANT THIS: "Cat Person" and Other Stories. She will be joined in conversation by The Boston Globe Love Letters columnist Meredith Goldstein.
About You Know You Want This
You Know You Want This brilliantly explores the ways in which women are horrifying as much as it captures the horrors that are done to them. Among its pages are a couple who becomes obsessed with their friend hearing them have sex, then seeing them have sex . . . until they can’t have sex without him; a ten–year–old whose birthday party takes a sinister turn when she wishes for “something mean”; a woman who finds a book of spells half hidden at the library and summons her heart’s desire: a nameless, naked man; and a self-proclaimed “biter” who dreams of sneaking up behind and sinking her teeth into a green-eyed, long-haired, pink-cheeked coworker.
Spanning a range of genres and topics—from the mundane to the murderous and supernatural—these are stories about sex and punishment, guilt and anger, the pleasure and terror of inflicting and experiencing pain. These stories fascinate and repel, revolt and arouse, scare and delight in equal measure. And, as a collection, they point a finger at you, daring you to feel uncomfortable—or worse, understood—as if to say, “You want this, right? You know you want this.”
Kristen Roupenian graduated from Barnard and holds a Ph.D. in African Literature from Harvard University. She is a Zell Fellow in the University of Michigan MFA program, and she has received numerous awards for her work.