You Know You Want This

You Know You Want This

"Cat Person" and Other Stories

Book - 2019
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INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2019 BY VOGUE , HUFFPOST , ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY , PUREWOW , REFINERY29 , NYLON , MARIE CLAIRE , BUSTLE , AND KIRKUS REVIEWS !

From the author of "Cat Person"--"the short story that launched a thousand theories" ( The Guardian )--comes Kristen Roupenian's highly anticipated debut, a compulsively readable collection of short stories that explore the complex--and often darkly funny--connections between gender, sex, and power across genres.

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."
Publisher: New York : Scout Press, ©2019.
ISBN: 9781982101633
Characteristics: 225 pages ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Roupenian, Kristen

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sarah_stevens Jan 28, 2019

I underestimated this collection. I expected the stories to just be more "Cat Person"s (which to be fair, I did enjoy). From the first page, I discovered this was not the case. I devoured it, and the only way I've found to describe the experience was "resonantly cringey."

Some stories are more allegorical, some border on horror, and others read more like straight literary fiction. I liked that I had no idea what was going to happen next (both within individual stories and the collection as a whole), but some readers might not enjoy this variety, which may come off as incongruent.

The dynamics of power and disgust that run throughout made for a compelling read. Would definitely appeal to fans of Ottessa Moshfegh and Carmen Maria Machado. There is definitely a sense of humor in its darkness, and I look forward to more work from Roupenian.

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