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Having miraculously survived a serious illness and now at an impasse in her career as a magazine editor, Rich spontaneously accepted a free-lance writing assignment to go to India, where she found herself thunderstruck by the place and the language. Before she knew it she was on her way to Udaipur, a city in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, in order to learn Hindi.
In this inspirational memoir, Rich documents her experiences in India ranging from the bizarre to the frightening to the unexpectedly exhilarating using Hindi as the lens through which she is given a new perspective not only on India, but on the radical way the country and the language itself were changing her. Fascinated by the process, she went on to interview linguistics experts around the world, reporting back from the frontlines of the science wars on what happens in the brain when we learn a new language. Seamlessly combining Rich's courageous (and often hilarious) personal journey with wideranging reporting, Dreaming in Hindi offers an eye-opening account of what learning a new language can teach us about distant worlds and, ultimately, ourselves.
Personal Photos from Katherine Russell Rich, Author of Dreaming in Hindi
(Click on each image below to see a larger view)
|Katherine Russell Rich in the Ancient Fort City of Chittogarh||Rajasthani Ektara Player||Katherine Russell Rich in Sari and Bindi|
Starred Review. Rich, the author of The Red Devil: To Hell with Cancer—and Back, recounts in this wonderful memoir her subsequent life's journey: immersing herself in the transformative complexities of learning Hindi. Fired from her New York City magazine job, palpating the possibility of being a full-time writer and tempted by the foolproof out that was traveling to India, Rich ensconced herself in a yearlong language program in Udaipur, in the northwest state of Rajasthan, where with three other students she struggled to get her brain, and tongue, around the disorienting monsoon of words in the total immersion program. A delicate balance of social graces determined success or failure, as the author learned painfully when she felt compelled to relocate from the home of her host family, an extended Jain clan, because of misunderstanding over her nonmarried status. Fluidly interspersed within her witty, tongue-in-cheek account of the nutty fellow students and nosy, however well-meaning, Indian spectators are comments and elucidation on second-language acquisition from experts, and observations while visiting a school for the deaf. Homesick, rattled by the violence, Rich nonetheless arrived at making jokes and actually dreaming in Hindi, and in her deft and spirited prose depicts being literally possessed by words. (July)
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I found this book in the library after returning from my first trip to India in March 2015. I found it so remarkable that I bought a copy to share with my elderly mother, and to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Karen L.Morgan
If you are interested in language you'll enjoy this book. I've always wanted to do immersion language learning, but never had the opportunity. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Nashville Nancy
As a former Expat, though in another country, I couldn't put it down.Published 13 months ago by Care
Would not recommend Dreaming in Hindi. I do not enjoy this book.Published 13 months ago by Patsy Thomas
I am enjoying the book and the insight into the language, culture and perception. The book jumps around a lot, which I suppose is intentional. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
Being interested in cultural exchange, language acquisition and self-growth (in addition to India) I found Dreaming in Hindi very engaging.Published 14 months ago by Lydia Elizabeth Kuniholm
Katherine Russell Rich's Dreaming in Hindi is a rich book, one that is filled with Indian lore, history, and the Hindi language. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Russell J. Sanders
Travel is so easy, meeting a foreign friend, lover or becoming a wife or husband of someone from another country and learning another language, is something you imagine you will be... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Eric the bee