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    ‘Cat Person’ writer sells her debut book in international publishing deal

    The bidding war over Kristen Roupenian’s first book may bring a price in the neighborhood of $1 million.
    Elisa Roupenian Toha
    The bidding war over Kristen Roupenian’s first book may bring a price in the neighborhood of $1 million.

    So what’s the value of buzz? Apparently quite a lot.

    Massachusetts native Kristen Roupenian, whose New Yorker-published short story “Cat Person” went viral last week, has sold her debut book to British publisher Jonathan Cape for a hefty five figures, according to The Guardian. A bidding war is currently ongoing between 11 US publishers, with a reported price tag of over $1 million.

    “Cat Person” was the first story Roupenian, a Falmouth Academy graduate whose parents worked in Plymouth, had published in The New Yorker. It details a short relationship between a college student, Margot, and a 34-year-old man named Robert and struck a chord because so many readers recognized themselves in the way the tale unfurled the intricacies of sexual relationships between men and women.

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    Roupenian’s new book, “You Know You Want This,” is a compilation of short stories.

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    “ ‘Cat Person’ captured the public imagination to become a phenomenon,” Michal Shavit said. “You see that so rarely in literary fiction. It’s an extraordinary story of human relationships and the sexual dynamics between a man and a woman, the power plays within that.”

    Shavit added, “I was submitted the collection on Tuesday. By Wednesday, I had bought the book. She’s the real deal.”

    Kaitlyn Locke can be reached at kaitlyn.locke@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ke_locke.