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A loving tribute to a unique upbringing When Stephen Alter is asked the simple question Where are you from, originally? he hesitates. Although he is in almost every way an American"granted with a trace of British accent"he has an unexpected reply: My real home was in India, a hill station called Mussoorie, seven and a half thousand feet up the Himalayas....
A loving tribute to a unique upbringing When Stephen Alter is asked the simple question Where are you from, originally? he hesitates. Although he is in almost every way an American"granted with a trace of British accent"he has an unexpected reply: My real home was in India, a hill station called Mussoorie, seven and a half thousand feet up the Himalayas. That was where I was born and raised, in a section known as Landour... It is a landscape, and a time, that haunts him still: I miss the place itself; the mountains, the view of the high Himalayas beyond Mussoorie, stretching all the way to heaven. The son and grandson of Presbytarian missionaries living in India for more than half a century, every day Alter straddled the profound boundary between utterly different peoples, cultures, languages and religions. He and his brothers spoke a pidgin dialect of Hindustani and English as young boys, fished in the rivers Song, Ganga and the Jumna, and later hunted for barking deer and ghoral in the steep foothills of the mountains always looming behind them. They studied American history but knew more about India's recent independence from England. In All the Way to Heaven, Alter writes affectionately of his family, his Indian friends and his memories exotic and mundane.
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