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Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio is commonly known in China as the Liao Zhao. Although the volume of stories was completed in 1679, it circulated in manuscript only until printed and published in 1740. Since then many editions have appeared in Chinese and many translations have been made into foreign languages.
The dates of birth or death for Pu Songling are unknown, but it is known that he reached the lowest (or bachelor’s) degree before age twenty. In 1651, ten years or so after his graduation, he had not progressed to an advanced degree. While it is unfortunate he did not personally progress in his academic standing, it is fortunate he used the time he had to write the tales contained in Strange Stories. Despite his failures in the more advanced competitive examinations, Pu Songling left a cherished manuscript, which for more than 300 years has gained him an enduring place in Chinese literature.