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This is a book about our concepts of literacy and its uses. It's a book about adult education in its broadest sense - about training opportunities for employment, about women's education, about access' to higher education, and about language and literacy policies. It is a book not simply for those who actually teach those who define themselves as illiterate or dyslexic, but also for anyone interested in developing their own, and promoting other peopl's critical and confident reading and writing. Jane Mace explores the theory behind adult literacy educaiton - discussing the arguments in favour of literacy, and clarifying why people who do not habitually write could find it attractive to do so. She also analyses principles by which literacy may be creatively learned, looking at five themes in detail: context, inquiry, authorship, equality and community. The book contributes to the debate on how we may describe not why people ought to want literacy, but in what ways literacy may offer us pleasure, use and interest - not least, those for whom it has hitherto represented only difficulty, unhappiness or irritation.