City of Cats

City of Cats

( Chinese - Maocheng Ji / 猫城记 - 1933 ( rev. 1947 ) )

novella by Lao She

translated by James Dew then W.A.Lyell

Published: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan ( Occasional Papers ) - paperback -1964
ISBN: none

titled 'Cat Country a Satirical Novel of China in the 1930' ( translated by W.A.Lyell )
Ohio State University Press - 1970
ISBN: 0814200133 / 9780814200131

Penguin Books - paperback - 2013
ISBN: 0143208128 / 9780143208129

Penguin Books - e-book - 2013
eISBN: 085797565X / 9780857975652

This novel is written from the perspective of a visitor to the planet Mars. The visitor encountered an ancient civilisation populated by cat-people. The civilisation had long past its glorious peak and had undergone prolonged stagnation. The visitor observed the various responses of its citizens to the innovations by other cultures. He discovers that the national food is made of "narcotic leaves" and sees the different sides of the society: crowded cities, the desperate position of concubines, the failures of educational programmes and the corruption of the political system. After the country is invaded he returns to China in the plane of a French explorer.


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