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Hangzhou novelist elected vice-chairman of CWA

ezhejiang.gov.cn| Updated: December 24, 2021 L M S


Various language versions of Decoded, In the Dark and The Message. [Photo/zjol.com.cn]

Jiang Benhu, a famous Zhejiang-born novelist who goes by the pen name Mai Jia, was elected vice-chairman of the China Writers Association (CWA), on Dec 17.

It has been 15 years since a Zhejiang writer was elected to this distinguished role.

Jiang was born in a village in Fuyang district in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, in 1964. He was drafted into the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in 1981 and had served for 17 years, during which he spent some time in a military intelligence institute. The experience at this institute proved to be an invaluable source of inspiration for his spy fictions.


Mai Jia is pictured in Beijing while attending the recent plenary session of the national committee of the China Writers Association. [Photo/zjol.com.cn]

Jiang's most acclaimed and popular novels include Decoded (2002), In the Dark (2003), The Message (2007), and A Wavy Life (2019). The first three are spy novels.

In the Dark won the 7th Mao Dun Literature Prize, which is the highest award for novels in China.

A Wavy Life, published in April 2019, has sold more than 2 million copies so far and is one of China's bestselling books in recent years. The novel is inspired by Jiang's childhood in Zhejiang.

Jiang's novels have been translated into dozens of foreign languages. Both Decoded and In the Dark have been included in the Penguin Modern Classics. In 2017, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph named Decoded among the 20 best spy novels of all time.

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