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Writing desire in Nepali love letters

by Laura M. Ahearn
Language and Communication ()


This article examines the ways in which romantic love was experienced, discussed, and written about by Nepali villagers in the 1990s. Love letters written by young village residents illustrate how love came to be reconceptualized during this time period as a desirable rather than an embarrassing emotion, one linked up with other achievements perceived as admirable, such as education, development and success. Because love letter correspondences were only made possible by increased female literacy rates in the village, the article also explores some of the socioculturally and historically specific impacts of the acquisition of literacy skills on gender hierarchies and intimate relationships. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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