‘Decoded’ By Mai Jia



I started reading the first pages of “Decoded” on Amazon’s “Look Inside,” and I couldn’t stop reading. The eighth novel by Chinese writer Mai Jia, and the first to be translated into English, it’s about the line between insanity and genius. It unfolds around the life of a young, genius mathematician who is recruited to work in a secret code breaking unit. Around its edges, it flirts with the spy genre but at its core it’s a character study: of a family and of a wide range of gifted people who live in the world of the mind in a way that’s foreign to ordinary people. I immediately ordered this book, and I’ll look forward to more translations by this writer. Here’s a short interview with him in the Wall Street Journal, and also a link to the book on Amazon. Give the first 20 pages a read. It may grip you like it did me…

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