Only the Cat Knows
DescriptionThis harrowing and extraordinary story, based on a true event, is part of a series of tales illuminating the microcosm of all humanity contained in a typical Chinese "worker village." Here, an exploited young factory worker has nothing to live for beyond a frail chance of a pay raise. When it never happens, he feels trapped between his family and official greed, indifference, and corruption. He then loses a ten-yuan note in a grain shop and turns desperately manic. While burgling the home of his sister, he is caught and accused by his little niece. Horrorstruck, he performs the action that will seal his fate forever . . .
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About the Author
Ruyan Meng was born and educated in China. She emigrated to the United States in the early 1990s. During the past decade she has immersed herself in Chinese history from the 1950s to the 1980s--the Stalinist-style oppression enforced by Mao Zedong. Her stories are inspired by true events in a "worker village" of the fifties--a residential compound directly copied from the Soviet Union. In her finely wrought tales, she has recreated this world: in microcosm, all human life is here. Ruyan Meng worked as an entrepreneur and real estate investor for twenty years, in Dallas, Texas. She now writes full-time and practices yoga and meditation.
--Donna Hemans, author of Tea by the Sea
"Only the Cat Knows is a crushing depiction of everyday life in Mao-era China. It teaches us of a world many of us have not had to live through and provides insight into modern China."--Audrey Fong, Soapberry Review
"Meng skillfully depicts the narrator's unraveling through his paranoia about [a] cat [that witnesses his crime]. The book takes on an Edgar Allan Poe-like quality with its darkness and desperation..."--Susan Blumberg-Kason, Asian Review of Books