Mai Jia. [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]
Mai Jia, a well-known novelist and playwright from Zhejiang province, was among the on-site attendees of the grand gathering celebrating the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held at Tian'anmen Square in the heart of Beijing on July 1.
Mai was the only person among Zhejiang authors and artists to be invited to the historically significant gathering.
Mai was born in Fuyang district, Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, in 1964. He was drafted into the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in 1981 and served for 17 years.
Mai's most acclaimed and popular novels include Decoded (2002), In the Dark (2003), Sound of the Wind (2007), and A Wavy Life (2019), of which the final three are in the spy fiction genre.
In the Dark won the 7th Mao Dun Literature Prize, which is the highest award for novels in China.
Mai's novels have been translated into 30 foreign languages. Both Decoded and In the Dark have been included in Penguin Modern Classics, its only two Chinese entries to date. In 2017, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph named Decoded one of "the 20 best spy novels of all time."