“Mai Jia, a top-selling Chinese espionage novelist and former soldier, has been writing about secrets for years. In his half-dozen novels, Mr. Mai, who has sold millions of books and won many Chinese literary awards, including the Mao Dun Literature Prize, describes intrigue at home that most Chinese, let alone non-Chinese, know nothing about. But his work has taken on a new sense of urgency as the world adjusts to the scale of surveillance by American intelligence agencies that have been revealed by Edward J. Snowden, a former contractor for the National Security Agency in the United States.”
This is an excerpt of a report by The New York Times on February 20.
“I feel extremely flattered, and I would suggest the Western media research more on Chinese literature, because there are too many good writers they should pay attention to,” Mai responded to the report after doing his routine workout in a gym on February 23.
“Most of Chinese writers are known to the foreigners through literature review, and writers like Mo Yan and Yu Hua that famous for their works in Western countries are very few,” Mai added.
If you’ve had time to browse about Heffers, supposedly the best academic bookshop in Cambridge, a major university town, you’ll find titles of Chinese literature ancient and modern (more than 2000 years’ worth) squeezed into about a single shelf, less than a meter long, Mai said, citing British Chinese studies expert Julia Lovell.
Didi Kirsten Tatlow, The New York Times reporter in Hong Kong, flew to the city on December 27, 2013 and spent a whole day with Zhejiang Writers Association president Mai Jia, who is also widely acclaimed as “Father of Spy Novels” in China, in his work studio and study “Dream Valley,” a paradise Mai regarded as a secluded library.
The 5,000-word report on The New York Times described Mai as “one of China’s most successful authors.” Other mainstream presses including The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and The Independent have also published stories about Mai Jia.
“Decoded,” a spy novel Mai wrote in 2002, will hit the US and European markets on March 18. “Publishers believe that my novel has great business opportunities in Western markets due to the Snowden event,” Mai said.
Source: Hangzhou Government