Pu was born into a poor merchant family from Zichuan (淄川, in Zibo, Shandong). At the age of 18, he received the Xiucai degree in the civil service examination; it was not until he was 71 that he was awarded the Gongsheng degree for his achievement in literature rather than for passing the Imperial examinations.
Songling Pu (1880). Strange stories from a Chinese studio, Volume 2. VOL. II. PRINTED BY THOMAS DE LA RUE AND CO., BUNHILL ROW, LONDON: T. De la Rue & co. Retrieved March 21, 2012. LONDON : THOS, DE LA RUE & CO. 1120, BUNHILL ROW. Translated by Herbert Allen Giles, Original from the New York Public Library, Digitized Apr 3, 2008
Chun-shu, Chang, and Shelley Hsueh-lun Chang (1998) Redefining History: Ghosts, Spirits, and Human Society in P'u Sung-ling's World, 1640-1715. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-10822-0
Judith T. Zeitlin (1993). Historian of the Strange : Pu Songling and the Chinese Classical Tale. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, xii, 332p. ISBN 0-8047-2085-1.
Owen, Stephen, "Pu Song-ling (1640-1715), Liao-zhai's Record of Wonders," in Stephen Owen, ed. An Anthology of Chinese Literature: Beginnings to 1911. New York: W. W. Norton, 1997. p. 1103-1126 (Archive).