'Cat Person' author's debut sells into 23 territories

'Cat Person' author's debut sells into 23 territories

The debut short story collection by ‘Cat Person’ author Kristen Roupenian has been snapped up in 23 territories.

Roupenian’s short story became an internet sensation after being published by the New Yorker, triggering debate about dating etiquette and gender equality, building on the conversations around the #MeToo movement. It drew a record-breaking number of online views on the New Yorker's website and was inspired by one of Roupenian’s own dating experiences.

Jonathan Cape led the way after buying the seven-story collection, You Know You Want This, in December. Less than a week later, Simon & Schuster US imprint Scout Press snapped up the collection as part of a two-book deal, for the story collection along with a novel, believed to be worth around $1.2m (£900,000).

Now more than 20 other territories have followed suit, with all rights sold on behalf of Jenni Ferrari-Adler at Union Literary.

You Know You Want This and the untitled novel were both bought in 10 countries following the US acquisition. A two-book deal was made in Germany as a pre-empt and at auction in Israel. The pair of titles were also acquired in Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Italy, France, Turkey and Korea.

Meanwhile rights for the short story collection alone have been bought in 11 territories, following the Cape deal. It has sold in Japan, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania, Slovenia and Croatia. Czech rights have been snapped up and it has also sold in Bulgaria and Russia, with Catalonian rights scooped in a pre-empt.

Ferrari-Adler told The Bookseller: "We are thrilled Kristen's stories are resonating internationally."   

Emma Paterson at Rogers, Coleridge and White, who did the deal with Cape on behalf of Ferrari-Adler, described the response from UK editors as “feverish” with “significant interest” coming within hours of submission. Michal Shavit, publishing director at the Penguin Random House imprint, revealed she was "hugely excited" to be "launching this phenomenal new voice". 

Roupenian, who has not previously published a book, is a Zell Fellow at the University of Michigan, and won the Grand Prize winning story for the Eleventh Annual Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards last year. She also completed a PhD from Harvard.

Last month, it was revealed that Nielsen BookScan’s Short Stories & Anthologies category had surged by 32% in volume and 45% in value in 2017, compared to the previous year.