"In his gripping debut novel, Mai Jia reveals the mysterious world of Unit 701, a top-secret Chinese intelligence agency whose sole purpose is counterespionage and code breaking. Rong Jinzhen, an autistic math genius with a past shrouded in myth, is forced to abandon his academic pursuits when he is recruited into Unit 701. As China's greatest cryptographer, Rong discovers that the mastermind behind the maddeningly difficult Purple Code is his former teacher and best friend, who is now working for China's enemy—but this is only the first of many betrayals. Brilliantly combining the mystery and tension of a spy thriller with the psychological nuance of an intimate character study and the magical qualities of a Chinese fable, Decoded discovers in cryptography the key to the human heart. Both a riveting mystery and a metaphysical examination of the mind of an inspired genius, it is the first novel to be published in English by one of China's greatest and most popular contemporary writers." "This book is a decoding of the encoding. A decoding of the life of our hero Rong Jinzhen, and of the encoded universal question of life itself. The unique story telling style takes us through a family history to set up Jinzhen, being trained for the world of Chinese counter-espionage, he cracks Code Purple the uncrackable code that makes himself a state hero. The book explores his personal struggles, his restricted freedoms and the fine-line between genius and madness. In the end, he is driven to madness by the very ability that made him a hero."
"Mai Jia is one of China's bestselling novelist, but he is unknown here in America. It's time for his books to be read more widely in here and Decoded, an unusual literary thriller that takes us deep into the world of code breaking, is just the book to grab the attention of Americans." This book has won the 2014 CALA Best Book Award (Categroy: Fiction).


Jia, Mai


Farrar, Straus and Giroux






text; book



Is Referenced By

Position: 248 (248 views)




Jia, Mai, “Decoded,” CALASYS - CALA Academic Resources & Repository System, accessed April 13, 2024,