Books

You Know You Want This

A short story collection by Kristen Roupenian.

Kristen Roupenian

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 10-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." (From Simon & Schuster)

From the book

Our friend came over the other night. He and his terrible girlfriend had finally broken up. This was his third breakup with that particular girlfriend, but he insisted it was going to be the one to stick. He paced around our kitchen, working his way through the 10,000 petty humiliations and torments of their six-month relationship, while we cooed and fretted and bent our faces into sympathetic shapes in his direction. When he went to the bathroom to collect himself, we collapsed against each other, rolling our eyes and pretending to strangle ourselves and shoot ourselves in the head. One of us told the other that listening to our friend complain about the details of his breakup was like listening to an alcoholic whine about being hungover: yes, the suffering was there but good God it was hard to muster sympathy for someone with so little insight into the causes of his own problems. How long was our friend going to continue to date terrible peoiple and then act surprsied when they treated him terribly, we asked each other. Then he came out of the bathroom and we mixed him his fourth drink of the evening and told him he was too drunk to drive home but that he was welcome to crash on our couch.


From Bad Boy in You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian ©2019. Published by Simon & Schuster.

Interviews

Kristen Roupenian is the writer behind 'Cat Person', the short story that went viral on The New Yorker website back in 2017. She's releasing her first collection of short stories called You Know You Want This. 18:46