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It’s hard to read “Cat Person,” a short story by Kristen Roupenian, without thinking two words: Extreme same.
The story, first published in the The New Yorker in early December, details a flirtation and then an encounter between Margot, a 20-year-old college student, and Robert, a 34-year-old man whom she (and the reader) knows very little about.
Throughout “Cat Person,” Roupenian explores the murky ambivalence of modern dating, in which a chance encounter can lead to someone being both disinterested and also disinclined to let that other person go — to the point where, midway through the story, after she sleeps with Robert, Margot notes, “[I] thought, brightly, This is the worst life decision I have ever made! And she marvelled at herself for a while, at the mystery of this person who’d just done this bizarre, inexplicable thing.” Read more…