Kristen Roupenian's picture

Kristen Roupenian

Kristen Roupenian is an American writer best known for her 2017 short story "Cat Person".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.

Novellas and Short Stories
   Cat Person (2018)
Books containing stories by Kristen Roupenian
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018 (2018)
(Best American Nonrequired Reading)
edited by
Sheila Heti

Kristen Roupenian recommends
A Better World (2024)
Sarah Langan
"When my sister asked me to recommend a novel for her to read at the hospital while she was giving birth, I suggested a book by Sarah Langan. While her dark, unsettling novels rooted in familial and community dysfunction might not seem like the most obvious choice of reading material for an expectant mother, her books are compelling enough to distract you from everything going on around you (including labor pains!) and, at the same time, so sensitively attuned to the delicacies of character that they leave you with a deeper understanding of the relationships in your life that matter most. A Better World is a fearless, frightening, yet strangely reassuring book that takes a pitiless look at the world we're building for our children - and then introduces us to a family doing its best to navigate that terrifying world with love, compassion, creativity, and humor. I loved it, and if my sister decides to bring another child into this rapidly disintegrating planet, I know exactly what book I'll recommend she take with her to the delivery room."
Hummingbird Salamander (2021)
Jeff VanderMeer
"Jeff VanderMeer's Hummingbird Salamander is an existential mindfuck cleverly disguised as a thriller. Though the plot never stops rocketing forward, this astonishing novel continually shifts and expands in scale, until the puzzle the narrator is tasked with solving at the outset becomes an almost Matrix-like invitation to open herself up to a new and shattering understanding of her world, and ours. Visionary, dark, beautiful, and strange, Hummingbird Salamander is that rare novel that coaxes you into imagining the unimaginable."
The Harpy (2020)
Megan Hunter
"The Harpy is an almost perfect book. The premise is so simple, and the execution so flawless. It feels like a fairy tale not only because of its aura of mystery and the purity of its structure, but because the story itself is so fundamental you could imagine it being told and re-told in a thousand different forms. In a way, the book feels more discovered than crafted, like the manuscript ought to have been found locked in a trunk in an attic somewhere, or translated off an an old rock slab. I've talked about it more than anything else I've read so far this year: I love explaining the set-up to friends and watching their eyes widen. It's so dark and so much fun."

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