Katherine Rich Russell's Dreaming in Hindi

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Before moving to New York City, Katherine Russell Rich was employed, repeatedly, in the food service industry. Cutting that career path short, she became an assigning editor at various magazines, including GQ and Allure. Fortunately, other writing opportunities did come along. Rich's first book, The Red Devil, details the clash of personal and professional when she is diagnosed with cancer while working in an industry that exalts perfection. Her second book, Dreaming in Hindi, is about the year she spent on assignment in India for The New York Times learning to speak Hindi. The story recounts a wild, sometimes dangerous year that included camel riding through the desert, teaching art classes for the deaf, poets and palaces, a naked photo scandal, a murder plot and the now-infamous Gujarat riots that occurred not far from Udaipur, where 2,000 people were slaughtered. As if that weren't enough, in between stories of India, Rich explores the science of language acquisition—this is a journey of both linguistic awakening and self-discovery.

Read the prologue to Dreaming in Hindi