What is it about “Cat Person”?

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SHORT stories are uniquely unpopular sources of entertainment. Book publishers avoid them, as fiction buyers prefer novels. Magazines have largely cut them from their pages (perhaps because truth lately has become stranger than fiction). So it is odd, to say the least, for a short story to suddenly trend on Twitter. Yet “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian, recently published in the New Yorker, has become one of the magazine’s most-read pieces of 2017. What makes this story so riveting?

It helps that “Cat Person”, which is essentially about bad sex on a mediocre date, speaks to the larger conversation everyone is now having about men, women, sex, power, consent and misunderstanding. The story is also about what happens when our deepest intimacies are mediated by technology and punctuated with emoji (a theme few writers consider, despite the fact that most people spend much of their days glued to their phones). And…Continue reading

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Personal pronouns are changing fast

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Giorgio Vasari, the man who created art history

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Esther Kinsky muses on a river in England

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