Cheng was born and raised in Queens, New York. He received his B.A. in English from Baruch College in 2005, taking courses in their Sidney Harman Visiting Writer Program. In 2010, he completed his MFA in Creative Writing at Hunter College, studying fiction under Colum McCann, Peter Carey, and Nathan Englander. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. Cheng’s debut novel, Southern Cross the Dog, was published in May 2013 by Amistad Press/Harper Collins, and was longlisted for PEN Open Book Award in 2014. He is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, 2015.