5 things to know about Cat Person

When her short story Cat Person appeared online in December 2017, Kristen Roupenian went from being an unknown author to the centre of a viral frenzy. Here are 5 things to know about the book.

1. You may remember Cat Person, a short story featured in The New Yorker that caused a storm of conversation online and attracted 2.6 million readers.

2. The story is about a brief, failed relationship between a 20 year old student, Margot, and an older man, Robert, recounting their initial flirtation, shifting power play, and excruciatingly bad sexual encounter. It’s said that it’s themes drew such a crowd because of its relevance to the modern day deceptions of dating and it’s topical treatment of non-consensual sex.

3. The story was based on a true, unpleasant encounter the author Kristen Roupenian had when she was online dating. You can read more about it here.

4. You'll be able to get your hands on Kristen’s first collection of short stories, You Know You Want This, in January 2019. You can sign up to the Vintage newsletter here to ensure you get the latest updates. 

5. Kristen has had a varied and exciting career. She has worked for the Peace Corps in Kenya, and speaks Swahili, and has also earned a living as a nanny, research co-ordinator and freelance reporter. She will be adding ‘published author’ to her repertoire from 3rd May 2018 when we publish a special edition of Cat Person.


Cat Person

Kristen Roupenian

She thought, brightly, This is the worst life decision I have ever made! And she marvelled at herself for a while, at the mystery of this person who’d just done this bizarre, inexplicable thing.

Margot meets Robert. They exchange numbers. They text, flirt and eventually have sex – the type of sex you attempt to forget. How could one date go so wrong?

Everything that takes place in Cat Person happens to countless people every day. But Cat Person is not an everyday story. In less than a week, Kristen Roupenian’s New Yorker debut became the most read and shared short story in their website’s history. This is the bad date that went viral. This is the conversation we’re all having.

This gift edition contains photographs by celebrated photographer Elinor Carucci, who was commissioned by the New Yorker to capture the image that accompanied Kristen Roupenian’s Cat Person when it appeared in the magazine.

You Know You Want This, Kristen Roupenian’s debut collection, will be published in February 2019.

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