Ruyan Meng

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.

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Only the Cat Knows

Ruyan Meng

Publication Date: August 2, 2022

$14.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 9781597098762


This 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 . . .


Winner of the 2020 Red Hen Press Novella Award


“Only the Cat Knows stands out in its depiction of a man trapped by debt and consumed by his sense of inadequacy. This honest portrayal of money and power and the many ways they weigh on our lives is timely and captures the sense of our current times as well as the economic woes that sometimes lead to desperate and tragic ends.”
—Donna Hemans, author of Tea by the Sea