Dreaming in Hindi
An eye-opening and courageous memoir that explores what learning a new language can teach us about distant worlds and, ultimately, ourselves.
After miraculously surviving a serious illness, Katherine Rich found herself at an impasse in her career as a magazine editor. She spontaneously accepted a freelance writing assignment to go to India, where she found herself thunder...more
There is plenty of fascinating information woven into the story about how we learn languages and I loved these parts. And it's been at times, painful, at times, boring, and at times ...more
After surviving cancer, Katherine Russell Rich decides she would like to learn Hindi. Eventually, she takes off for India to study Hindi there. She lands in Udaipur in Rajastan...in the far northwest of India, very close to the border with Pakistan. (Very few people I know have been to Udaipur (or Rajastan), and the place is close to my heart because it's where my husband proposed.)
The week she arrives is September 11, 2001. Over the next several months, sectarian ...more
However - I LOVED this book. I REALLY enjoyed reading it. It is as though I and the negative reviewers were reading two different books.
I can see how folks would be disappointed if they were expecting a travel memoir about personal revelations along the lines of Eat, Pray, Love, because this book is MUCH more like something by Mary Roach. ...more
The author sometimes delved too deep into other published studies about language, and while some were interesting (like how humans are pre-programmed for language, but writing and reading are something that have to be learned), other times it was either not interesting, or she continued explaining past the point of interest.
Then, at other times, she would mention interesting things about the culture or people, just to mer ...more
The book is an engaging, at times frustrating, account of her enrollment in a Hindi language school in Udaipur, Rajasthan and her experience with the Indian culture, customs a ...more
Sadly, I did not love the book and I'm struggling to fully articulate why. The book roughly covers the space of a year in which Ms. Rich was in India, with sto ...more
The author decided to take a year to learn Hindi as an adult exchange student. She had lost her job and had been diagnosed with cancer. So she thought a complete change is what she needed.
The book covers her time in India ...more
Unfortunately, I was less impressed with other aspects of this book. Memoirs are often self-centred, but this one seemed especially so and it was hard to see the humour Rich seeme ...more
Unfortunately the final product didn't put the strands to the best use. It was, to my mind, like reading something in draft form. The various strands of the novel weren't pulled together in a coherent fashion and at times I found the writing style distracted from t ...more
It starts out strong, but the parts become increasingly less integrated and the memoir sections become increasingly disorganized. There were a number of points where she referenced something as if she'd already told that story, only to explain it 50 pages later. The information was good and her prose, as in individual sentences, was good, ...more
I wanted to like "Dreaming in Hindi," I really did. I'm studying several languages; this should have been a great read, and it could have been, if not for the atrocious writing. Where was the editor?
Rich interrupts her story repeatedly with interviews and notes from her study on learning languages. These digressions would be interesting, but they ...more
This book is not well written. It's not interesting. It just isn't ... good.
This book spans a year that Rich, a middle-aged American woman, spent in Udaipur, India, with the express intention to learn Hindi.
This would all be fine, but she decided to cross-reference ...more
The book covers the year the author spent in Rajasthan, India, a place I know something about, trying to learn Hindi, a language I also know something about. The timing is after her own diagnosis with Stage IV breast cancer, specifically in the months following the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Her experiences, her growth, her challenges, are all in ...more
Her latest book, Dreaming in Hindi: Coming Awake in Another Language, details a ...more