Dreaming in Hindi
by Katherine Russell Rich
$26.00 List Price
Midway through Katherine Russell Rich’s year of learning Hindi in India, she takes a holiday with a fellow New Yorker whose direct manner of speaking unnerves her. “In a place swathed in veils—veiled references, displays, emotions, half the women—directness was shocking,” Rich writes in Dreaming in Hindi, her memoir of that tumultuous year. In recounting her education, she is regularly amazed at the ways second-language acquisition can change a person: cognitively, psychologically, socially. Things that once seemed familiar, like New York speech patterns, become strange; things once strange become familiar.
And yet it was change Rich was after when she enrolled in a Hindi language-study program in Udaipur, India, in the fall of 2001. At forty-five, she had already survived divorce, a brutal bout with cancer (
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