In February 2019, we were lucky enough to be joined by Kristen Roupenian, author of the phenomenon ‘Cat Person’, in-conversation about her debut book, You Know You Want This, with Man Booker shortlisted author, Daisy Johnson.
Emerging from a seven-year relationship in her mid-thirties, Kristen Roupenian thought she’d be much better at dating – she was older, wiser and boasted a finely tuned bullshit detector. Instead, a memorably bad encounter planted the seed for the story ‘Cat Person’, which became a viral sensation after being published by the New Yorker in December 2017.
Kristen Roupenian spent the early part of her twenties travelling the world in the Peace Corps, as well as working in a bookshop and as a nanny. She went on to study for a PhD in African literature at Harvard. When ‘Cat Person’ happened, Kristen was coming to the end of an MFA at the University of Michigan and putting the finishing touches to You Know You Want This, her first book. With a nod to classic horror, You Know You Want This examines the pull and push of revulsion and attraction between people.
Daisy Johnson is the author of the critically acclaimed short-story collection Fen. Her debut novel Everything Under was short listed for the Man Booker Prize. She is the winner of the Harper's Bazaar Short Story Prize, the A. M. Heath Prize, and the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She has a Master's in Creative Writing from Oxford and was once a bookseller at Blackwell's on Broad Street.
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