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Pu Songling

Author, Chinese
Pu Songling (1640–1715) wrote in the late Ming, early Ching dynasty of China. Although a brilliant scholar, Pu repeatedly failed the civil service examinations and remained an impoverished scholar until he finally achieved a modicum of official recognition at age seventy-one, awarded the Gongsheng degree for his achievement in literature; he died four years later. His collection of Chinese classical tales, Liaozhai Zhiyi (Strange Tales from a Dilettante’s Studio), ran to sixteen volumes and consisted of nearly five hundred stories, ranging from observations of anomalies in nature and human life to fantastic ghost stories.