It is an unconventional interpretation of Shishuo xinyu, also known as A New Account of Tales of the World – the famous 5th-century collection of anecdotes. Unlike the traditional view that the celebrities in this period are self-contained and unrestrained due to the increasing identity awareness and the desire for self-liberation, the author believes that the celebrities endeavored to showcase their carefully designed personalities to gain reputation, social status, and higher official ranks. The 36 characteristics covered in the 36 chapters of Shishuo xinyu, according to the author, reflect 36 tricks of personal branding shows used by celebrities to climb up the social ladder. Who tops the author’s ranking of best showmen of the Wei-Jin celebrities? Read to find out more.