Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum

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By (author) Katherine Boo

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  • Publisher: Portobello Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 198mm x 20mm | 200g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1846274516
  • ISBN 13: 9781846274510
  • Sales rank: 2,106

Product description

Annawadi is a slum at the edge of Mumbai Airport, in the shadow of shining new luxury hotels. Its residents are garbage recyclers and construction workers, economic migrants, all of them living in the hope that a small part of India's booming future will eventually be theirs. But when a crime rocks the slum community and global recession and terrorism shocks the city, tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy begin to turn brutal. As Boo gets to know those who dwell at Mumbai's margins, she evokes an extraordinarily vivid and vigorous group of individuals flourishing against the odds amid the complications, corruptions and gross inequalities of the new India.

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Author information

KATHERINE BOO is an investigative journalist focusing on matters of poverty and opportunity. A staff writer at the New Yorker magazine since 2001, she was previously a writer and editor at the Washington Post. Among the honours her work has received are a MacArthur Foundation 'Genius' Grant, a National Magazine Award, and the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. This is her first book.

Review quote

"[An] exquisitely accomplished first book. Novelists dream of defining characters this swiftly and beautifully, but Ms. Boo is not a novelist. She is one of those rare, deep-digging journalists who can make truth surpass fiction, a documentarian with a superb sense of human drama. She makes it very easy to forget that this book is the work of a reporter. .... Comparison to Dickens is not unwarranted."--Janet Maslin, "The New York Times" "A jaw-dropping achievement, an instant classic of narrative nonfiction...With a cinematic intensity...Boo transcends and subverts every cliche, cynical or earnest, that we harbor about Indian destitution and gazes directly into the hearts, hopes, and human promise of vibrant people whom you'll not soon forget."--"Elle ""Riveting, fearlessly reported....["Beautiful Forevers"]""plays out like a swift, richly plotted novel. That's partly because Boo writes so damn well. But it's also because over the course of three years in India she got extraordinary access to the lives and minds of the Annawadi slum, a settlement nestled jarringly close to a shiny international airport and a row of luxury hotels. Grade: A."--"Entertainment Weekly" "A tough-minded, inspiring, and irresistible book ... Boo's extraordinary achievement is twofold. She shows us how people in the most desperate circumstances can find the resilience to hang on to their humanity. Just as importantly, she makes us care."--"People" (four stars) "Extraordinary."--"The New York Times Book Review" "A shocking--and riveting--portrait of life in modern India. ... This is one stunning piece of narrative nonfiction ... Boo's prose is electric."--"O," The Oprah Magazine "Gripping...A brilliant novelistic narration." -"Wall Street Journal " "Moving.... a humane, powerful and insightful book....A book of nonfiction so stellar it puts most novels to shame." -- "Boston Globe" "A mind-blowing re