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NY Times Best Seller - Non Fiction June 22, 2014
   
Behind the Beautiful Forevers : Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
by Katherine Boo

Overview - 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.  Read more...

 
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More About Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
 
 
 
Overview
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
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
"The New York Times - The Washington Post - O: The Oprah Magazine - USA Today - New York - The Miami Herald - San Francisco Chronicle - Newsday"
" "
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
"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"
" "
"NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLER
"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"

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781400067558
  • ISBN-10: 1400067553
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Publish Date: February 2012
  • Page Count: 288


Related Categories

Books > Social Science > Developing & Emerging Countries
Books > Social Science > Poverty
Books > History > Asia - India & South Asia

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2011-10-17
  • Reviewer: Staff

A Mumbai slum offers rare insight into the lives and socioeconomic and political realities for some of the disadvantaged riding the coattails (or not) of India’s economic miracle in this deeply researched and brilliantly written account by New Yorker writer and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Boo. Divided into four parts, the narrative brings vividly to the page life as it is led today in Annawadi, a squalid and overcrowded migrant settlement of some 3,000 people squatting since 1991 on a half-acre of land owned by the Sahar International Airport. (Boo derives her title from a richly ironic real-world image: a brightly colored ad for floor tiles repeating “Beautiful Forever” across a wall shutting out Annawadi from the view of travelers leaving the airport.) Among her subjects is the fascinating Abdul, a sensitive and cautiously hopeful Muslim teenager tirelessly trading in the trash paid for by recycling firms. Crucially, Boo’s commanding ability to convey an interior world comes balanced by concern for the structural realities of India’s economic liberalization (begun the same year as Annawadi’s settlement), and her account excels at integrating the party politics and policy strategies behind eruptions of deep-seated religious, caste, and gender divides. Boo’s rigorous inquiry and transcendent prose leave an indelible impression of human beings behind the shibboleths of the New India. (Feb.)

 
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