Cover photograph by John Zhang
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Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio, known in China as the Liao Zhai Zhi Yi, was a volume of stories completed in 1679, but 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 unfortunate he did not personally progress in his academic standing, Pu Songling left a cherished manuscript, which for more than 300 years has gained him an enduring place in Chinese literature.
This Smashwords edition was transcribed from the 1908 Second Edition of a translation by Herbert A. Giles, originally published by Kelly & Walsh, Limited with offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Yokohama. My own personal copy of this edition contains a note of ownership penned by Geo. Dorsey, Shanghai, May, 1911. I am grateful to Mr. Dorsey for keeping his volume so beautifully protected and intact. Besides preparing these stories for electronic transmission, I have attempted to edit them with a more modern format, including punctuation and styling, to make them accessible to today’s readers. In addition, I have rendered Chinese personal and place names into modern pinyin.