Dreaming In Hindi | Granta

  • Published: 04/08/2011
  • ISBN: 9781846272622
  • 129x30mm
  • 384 pages

Dreaming In Hindi

Katherine Russell Rich

Having survived a serious illness and reached an impasse in her career, Katherine Russell Rich spontaneously accepts a freelance assignment in India, where she finds herself utterly overwhelmed by the place and the language. Before she knows it she is on her way to Udaipur, a city in Rajasthan, to live with a local family and join a special language school offering ‘total immersion’. What follows is a year of linguistic adventure and cultural surprises in which Rich gradually sheds her foreignness, to discover a new country and a new way of communicating. Both a clever, lucid and funny memoir, and a unique investigation into the science of language acquisition, Dreaming in Hindi offers an engrossing account of what learning a new language can teach us about distant worlds and, ultimately, ourselves.

A work that will inevitably be compared to Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love [...] it traces the far-flung adventures of a thoughtful, soul-searching single woman from New York... In addition to reporting on life in India, Rich interviews linguists and other experts about just what happens inside your head when you learn another language. The transformation Rich undertakes isn't just spiritual or metaphorical but neurological.

New York Times

This gem of a book deserves to outshine Eat, Pray, Love ... As well as a memoir of spiritual recovery, the result amounts to the sharpest, clearest and most illuminating book about the challenge - and non-mystical magic - of language-learning any reader could want. Bursting with character, charm and comedy, her Rajasthani year of "life in translation" also delves genially into the linguistic mysteries of the mind.

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

A riveting memoir - the book illuminates the truth that when we learn a language, we learn an entire culture. One of the best foreign observers of contemporary India, Rich's gaze is witty, empathetic, and intimate.

Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City

The Author

Katherine Russell Rich is the author of Dreaming in Hindi: Life in Translation, and the award-winning memoir The Red Devil: To Hell with Cancer and Back. Her writing appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, Salon, and O, the Oprah Magazine and she taught writing in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She died in 2012. http://www.katherinerussellrich.com/

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