Donald Trump’s accusers. The Terrence Howard “mayne” memes. Twitter keeps users glued to their timelines with a set of trending topics every day of the week. But one of the social network’s most recent popular discussions happens to be a bit more peculiar than most. Centered upon “Cat Person,” a short story written by Kristen Roupenian for The New Yorker about a first date gone wrong, the weekend’s most heated debate has everyone from Roxane Gay to Eve L. Ewing in on the conversation centered on good versus bad fiction.
Twitter’s not the only place where the story has gained traction. According to The Cut, “Cat Person” has become the most-read piece of fiction online this year. It’s also now one of the magazine’s most-read pieces overall.
“I anticipated that people would respond to the story, but this level of response has gone beyond what I’ve seen with fiction before,” New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman told The Cut. “Anytime that fiction is the most-read piece on our website for days, something unusual is happening.”
As explained by The Cut, “Cat Person” tells the story of a girl named Margot who meets a man named Robert while working at her college movie theater job. The two get to know each other via “a drawn-out text flirtation” and eventually meet up for sex, but the sex is pretty bad. When Margot decides she’s no longer into what they have going on between them, Robert “reveals a mean streak.”
Many have expressed how “relatable” the story is to them, while some just don’t understand the hype at all. “I am not crazy about stories about college students,” Gay shared on Twitter on Sunday. “I get why people like Cat Person. It just wasn’t for me.”
Others, like Ewing, expressed their pleasure in seeing “folks talking about a piece of fiction so ardently.”
We, on the other hand? Not so moved. Though Robert’s post-date dolphin emoji did elicit an audible chuckle (lol). Like Gay, we can understand why the story has appealed to so many. It just wasn’t… uhm…our cup of tea.