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Love Letters from GolokA Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet$
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Holly Gayley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231180528

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231180528.001.0001

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Journey to Golok

(p.1) Introduction
Love Letters from Golok

Holly Gayley

Columbia University Press

After introducing the couple and the gendered lens of the book as a whole, I narrate my own literary and ethnographic encounter with this Buddhist tantric couple to draw the reader into the Tibetan region of Golok, a nomadic area on the border of Qinghai and Sichuan Provinces, where Tāre Lhamo and Namtrul Rinpoche lived, traveled and taught. The Introduction asks how Tibetans themselves have construed their own recent history and suggests that Buddhist hagiography is an important site for Tibetans today to narrate an alternative history, since classical genre conventions preclude overt political statements and allow for a symbolic retrieval of Tibetan agency. I introduce the literary sources to be analyzed in this book as a new archive through which to explore the issue of minority voices in China.

Keywords:   minority voices, alternative history, literary genre, agency, gender, nomadic regions of Tibet

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