Jiandeng Xinhua (剪灯新话) written by the early Ming writer Qu You (瞿佑, 1347-1433) is a collection of classical Chinese tales that exercised one of the greatest transnational influences in East Asia. The collection became popular in Korea as early as the 15th century and was later widely circulated in Japan and Vietnamalthough in China it became increasingly obscure as time went by. Stories in the Jiandeng Xinhua are mainly set in the final years of the Yuan and realistically depict a country with a large population decimated by war. They are mostly about the lives of suffering literati, and a large number of tales use the theme of love between a talented man and a female ghost. Such topics resulted in a phenomenal reception of Jiandeng Xinhua in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, and apparently general readers there took great delight in the “story” and “discourse” of Qu Yous narrative so that many writers in those countries were inspired to regard Jiandeng Xinhua as the supreme model for composing fiction. More importantly, Qu Yous stories became popular in East Asia at a time when all those countries were either undergoing disastrous civil wars or immediately after a period of similarly dark times. However, ironically, Jiandeng Xinhua was banned in China for a long time, mainly due to political reasons and partly due to its particular literary style that was against the trends of the times. By looking at these two drastically different reception histories (i.e., in China and other East Asian countries, respectively) certainly some insight is gained into the unique destiny of literary works, the experience of the authors, and the various political implications. Moreover, different layers of meaning concerning literary histories would be able to be perceived across the boundaries of nations.