From the author of the global sensation Cat Person comes You Know You Want This, a compulsive short story collection about sex, dating and modern life that will thrill you before it chills you.
You Know You Want This is about the ways in which women are horrifying as much as it is about the horrors that are done to them. There's 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 woman who finds a book of spells half hidden at the library and summons her heart's desire: a nameless, naked man; a ten-year-old whose birthday party takes a sinister turn when she wishes for "something mean"; and a self-proclaimed "biter" who dreams of sneaking up behind and sinking her teeth into a green-eyed, long-haired, pink-cheeked coworker.
Though the stories span a range of genres-covering territory from the mundane to the murderous and supernatural-they are all, in the end, horror stories. They are stories about sex and punishment, guilt and anger, the pleasure and terror of inflicting and experiencing pain. They fascinate and repel, revolt and arouse, scare and delight in equal measure. And, as a collection, they point a finger at the reader, daring them to feel uncomfortable... or, worse, understood, as if to say, "You want this, right? You know you want this."
About the Author
Kristen Roupenian graduated from Barnard and holds a PhD in African Literature from Harvard. She is a Zell Fellow in the University of Michigan MFA program, and has received numerous awards for her work. She has studied with Laura Kasischke, Jeff Van der Meer and Claire Vaye Watkins. Her short story 'Cat Person' became a viral sensation when it was published by the New Yorker at the end of 2017, dubbed 'the most talked-about short story ever? You Know You Want This is her first book.
"These transgressive and darkly electric stories announce the arrival of a bold, new, necessary voice in American short fiction. ”
Claire Vaye Watkins
“ If you think you know what this collection will be like, you’re wrong. These stories are sharp and perverse, dark and bizarre, unrelenting and utterly bananas. I love them so, so much ”
Carmen Maria Machado
“ Kristen Roupenian isn’t just an uncannily great writer, she also knows things about the human psyche—things that I always supposed I would learn at some point, but never did. Some of these things are about men’s minds in particular and I’m pretty sure she’s right. The world has made a lot more sense since reading this book. ”
“ In an age that needs a wrecking ball, You Know You Want This provides one. This is a raucous, visceral page-turner that tunnels into the heart of relationships gone awry, modern-day miscommunications, and other horrors of being human. Not polite. Suffers no fools. Takes no prisoners. Read it. ”
Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times bestselling author
“ Moments of startling insight into the hidden – and often uncomfortable –truths underneath modern relationships… there are some stellar moments of pithy clarity: In 'Scarred,' upon summoning a way to cheat desire, the protagonist muses, ‘I had everything that could be wanted. I invented new needs just to satisfy.’ This is a promising debut. ”
“ Roupenian’s tales from the frontline of modern relationships are perfect for an alternative Valentine’s Day display. ”