Behind the Beautiful Forevers

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

3.97 (78,289 ratings by Goodreads)
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In this brilliant, breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport. As India starts to prosper, the residents of Annawadi are electric with hope. Abdul, an enterprising teenager, sees a fortune beyond counting in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Meanwhile Asha, a woman of formidable ambition, has identified a shadier route to the middle class. With a little luck, her beautiful daughter, Annawadi s most-everything girl, might become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest children, like the young thief Kalu, feel themselves inching closer to their dreams. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal. With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects people to one another in an era of tumultuous change, "Behind the Beautiful Forevers, "based on years of uncompromising reporting, " "carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century s hidden worlds and into the hearts of families impossible to forget.
Winner of the National Book Award - The PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award - The Los Angeles Times Book Prize - The American Academy of Arts and Letters Award - The New York Public Library s Helen Bernstein Book Award
"The New York Times The Washington Post O: The Oprah Magazine USA Today New York The Miami Herald San Francisco Chronicle Newsday"
"The New Yorker People Entertainment Weekly The Wall Street Journal The Boston Globe The Economist Financial Times Newsweek"/The Daily Beast" Foreign Policy The Seattle Times The Nation St. Louis Post-Dispatch The Denver Post "Minneapolis" Star Tribune "Salon" The Plain Dealer The Week Kansas City Star "Slate" Time Out New York Publishers Weekly"
A book of extraordinary intelligence [and] humanity . . . beyond groundbreaking. Junot Diaz, "The New York Times Book Review"
Reported like Watergate, written like "Great Expectations, "and handily the best international nonfiction in years. "New York"
This book is both a tour de force of social justice reportage and a literary masterpiece. Judges Citation for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award
[A] landmark book. "The Wall Street Journal"
A triumph of a book. Amartya Sen
There are books that change the way you feel and see; this is one of them. Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
[A] stunning piece of narrative nonfiction . . . [Katherine] Boo s prose is electric. " O: The Oprah Magazine"
Inspiring, and irresistible . . . 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 important, she makes us care. " People""
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Product details

  • CD-Audio | 7 pages
  • 132.08 x 157.48 x 33.02mm | 45.36g
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Unabridged
  • Unabridged
  • 0307934055
  • 9780307934055
  • 637,026

Review quote

"Kate Boo's reporting is a form of kinship. Abdul and Manju and Kalu of Annawadi will not be forgotten. She leads us through their unknown world, her gift of language rising up like a delicate string of necessary lights. There are books that change the way you feel and see; this is one of them. If we receive the fiery spirit from which it was written, it ought to change much more than that."
--Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, author of "Random Family
"There is a lot to like about this book: the prodigious research that it is built on, distilled so expertly that we hardly notice how much we are being taught; the graceful and vivid prose that never calls attention to itself; and above all, the true and moving renderings of the people of the Mumbai slum called Annawadi. Garbage pickers and petty thieves, victims of gruesome injustice - Ms. Boo draws us into their lives, and they do not let us go. This is a superb book."
--Tracy Kidder, author of "Mountains Beyond Mountains "and "Stren
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About Katherine Boo

Katherine Boo is a staff writer at "The New Yorker" and a former reporter and editor for "The" "Washington Post." Her reporting has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur Genius grant, and a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. For the last decade, she has divided her time between the United States and India. This is her first book."
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Rating details

78,289 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 33% (25,852)
4 40% (31,482)
3 20% (15,368)
2 5% (4,107)
1 2% (1,480)
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