You Know You Want This

"Cat Person" and Other Stories

You Know You Want This

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.”
  • Gallery/Scout Press | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781982101633 | 
  • January 2019
List Price $24.99 (price may vary by retailer)
Ships on or around January 15, 2019
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for You Know You Want This includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book

Introduction

Kristen Roupenian's highly anticipated debut is a compulsively readable collection of short stories that explore the complex—and often darkly funny—connections between gender, sex, and power.

You Know You Want This brilliantly examines the ways in which women can be horrifying as much as it captures the horrors that are done to them. 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.”

Topics and Questions for Discussion

1. Why do you think Roupenian choose to title her short story collection You Know You Want This? How does the book’s title help to frame the conc see more

About the Author

Kristen Roupenian

Kristen Roupenian graduated from Barnard College and holds a PhD in English from Harvard, as well as an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. She is the author of the short story, “Cat Person,” which was published in The New Yorker and selected by Sheila Heti for The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018. She is currently at work on a novel.

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