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A Taiwan granny learns to write - and publishes her life story

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Taipei (dpa) - A 73-year-old Taiwanese grandmother who began to learn to read and write at the age of 70, Wednesday published a book about her life which she wrote on a computer.

Liu Hsien-mei, from Kaohsiung County, southern Taiwan, launched the book - A Woman in the Mountains - in Taipei, saying she wanted to encourage fellow senior citizens to lead an active life.

Liu spent her life farming and raising children, and began to go to school only when she was 70, learning to write and use a computer. The result: a 60-page makeshift tale without paragraphs or proper punctuation marks - but full of colour and anecdote.

Originally Liu intended producing just 25 self-copied versions to give away to friends and relatives. But the book proved a hit after a local radio station began reading from it. Pao Ping Publishing Corp. agreed to put out the book after a teacher contacted them.

"When I was young, my father beat me. When I got married, I had to do endless household chores. But I have many sweet memories and I treasure life," Liu told reporters Wednesday.

Liu, who has three children and eight grandchildren, says she spends her time reading, singing karaoke, browsing the internet and riding a motorbike to visit friends - and "my next goal is to learn to paint".

Copyright 2005 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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