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Gendered WordsSentiments and Expression in Changing Rural China$
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Fei-wen Liu

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190210403

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210403.001.0001

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He Yanxin: Calling and Recalling the Sentiments of Nüshu

He Yanxin: Calling and Recalling the Sentiments of Nüshu

(p.77) Chapter 4 He Yanxin: Calling and Recalling the Sentiments of Nüshu
Gendered Words

Fei-wen Liu

Oxford University Press

He Yanxin (b. 1939), the last traditionally trained nüshu practitioner, shares her complex feelings toward nüshu. Having learned the script and repertoire from her maternal grandmother in childhood, she stopped using it at her grandmother’s death in 1960, purposefully concealing her proficiency from nüshu scholars, including the author who she made sworn sisterhood with in 1993. She revealed her nüshu capability in 1994 only to help another member of our sworn sisterhood, and since then has become the most prolific nüshu writer to date. Her experiences illuminate the emotions attached to this practice as expressive, engaging, and transformative.

Keywords:   he yanxin, learning, writing, sworn sister/sisterhood, emotion/sentiment, biography, epistolary, sanzhaoshu, prayer, bridal lament

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