Exquisite and amusing miniatures regarded as the pinnacle of classical Chinese fiction
With their elegant prose, witty wordplay and subtle charm, the 104 stories in this selection from The Strange Tales of Pu Songling (1640-1715) reveal a world in which nothing is as it seems. Here a Taoist monk conjures up a magical pear tree, a scholar recounts his previous incarnations, a woman out-foxes the fox-spirit that possesses her, a child bride gives birth to a thimble-sized baby, a ghostly city appears out of nowhere and a heartless daughter-in-law is turned into a pig. In his tales of humans coupling with shape-shifting spirits, bizarre phenomena, haunted buildings and enchanted objects, Pu Songling pushes back the boundaries of human experience and enlightens as he entertains.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About Pu Songling
Pu Songling (1640–1715) was one of the most celebrated Chinese writers from the Qing dynasty.
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“Magical and wondrously entertaining . . . Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio overflows with ghosts, demons, monsters, monks, magicians, revived corpses, gods and fox-spirits. . . . [It] calls to mind a collection of mildly racy club stories or lost episodes of The Twilight Zone. . . . Fast paced, surprisingly light in tone, emotionally cool, wryly humorous—these uncanny tales, often just one or two pages long, might almost be adult bedtime stories. . . . Reading this beloved classic provides a particularly enjoyable way to help celebrate Chinese New Year.” —The Washington Post