by Katherine Russell Rich - £8.99 Granta Books (Portobello Books Ltd) (2011)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781846272622 | ISBN 10: 1846272629
'I took up with Hindi at a time when it seemed my life had buckled out from under me ... I no longer had the language to describe my own life. So I decided I'd borrow someone else's.'
Having survived a serious illness and now at an impasse in her career, Rich spontaneously accepts a freelance assignment to go to 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.
Fascinated by the process, she seeks out linguistic experts around the world to understand what goes in the brain as we pick up a new vocabulary. 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.
(Price & availability last checked: May 2019)