Paper Trail

“Cat Person” discourse makes a comeback; Amy Sohn on “The Man Who Hated Women”

Amy Sohn. Photo: Craig LaCourt.

At Slate, Alexis Nowicki writes about confirming the suspicion that Kristen Roupenian’s viral short story, “Cat Person,” was based on details from Nowicki’s life. The author had never met Roupenian but discovered that an older man she’d dated did and told Roupenian about the relationship. When Nowicki asked Roupenian to comment, Roupenian said that the man had told her a “handful of facts” about dating a younger woman that she then fictionalized, and apologized for not changing the identifiable details. Still, Nowicki feels unsettled: “What’s difficult about having your relationship rewritten and memorialized in the most viral short story of all time is the sensation that millions of people now know that relationship as described by a stranger.” On Twitter, the Cat Person Discourse is fierce.

Amy Sohn’s new book, The Man Who Hated Women, is a narrative history of Anthony Comstock, the US Postal inspector for whom the Comstock law was named. The 1973 ordinance punished people who mailed contraceptives or so-called obscene material. On Fresh Air, the author talks to Terry Gross about Comstock and the women who fought against him, including anarchists, sex-educators, writers, doctors, and more.

LitHub rounds up independent booksellers’ recommendations for indie-press titles, including new books published by Deep Vellum, New Directions, the Feminist Press, Coffee House Press, and more.

The Reuters Institute has an in-depth study of perceptions of bias and fairness in news coverage among different demographic groups in six countries.

Tonight at 6pm, Daphne Merkin will join a virtual event hosted by the Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor to discuss her new novel, 22 Minutes of Unconditional Love.