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

Boo, Katherine Author

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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
 
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 Díaz, 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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Review:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2012: Katherine Boo spent three years among the residents of the Annawadi slum, a sprawling, cockeyed settlement of more than 300 tin-roof huts and shacks in the shadow of Mumbai’s International Airport. From within this “sumpy plug of slum” Boo unearths stories both tragic and poignant--about residents’ efforts to raise families, earn a living, or simply survive. These unforgettable characters all nurture far-fetched dreams of a better life. As one boy tells his brother: “Everything around us is roses. And we’re like the s**t in between.” A New Yorker writer and recipient of a Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur “Genius” grant, Boo’s writing is superb and the depth and courage of her reporting from this hidden world is astonishing. At times, it’s hard to believe this is nonfiction. -- Neal Thompson

About the Author:

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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Boo, Katherine Author
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Book Description Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2014. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "[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 nonfictionWith a cinematic intensityBoo transcends and subverts every clich, 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 "GrippingA 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 read." - Redbook "An unforgettable true story, meticulously researched with unblinking honesty.Pure, astonishing reportage with as unbiased a lens as possible." - Christian Science Monitor "The most riveting Indian story since Slumdog Millionaire-except hers is true." - Marie Claire "Seamless and intimate.A scrupulously true story.It's tempting to compare [ Behind the Beautiful Forevers ] to a novel, butthat would hardly do it justice." -- Salon "Extraordinary.moving.Like the best journeys, Boo's book cracks open our preconceptions and constructs an abiding bridge-at once daunting and inspiring-to a world we would never otherwise recognize as our own." -- National Geographic Traveler "An unforgettable true story, meticulously researched with unblinking honesty.Pure, astonishing reportage with as unbiased a lens as possible." - Christian Science Monitor "Behind the Beautiful Forevers offers a rebuke to official reports and dry statistics on the global poor.Boo is one of few chroniclers providing this picture. She's a moral force andan artist of reverberating power." -- The American Prospect "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 "I couldn't put Behind the Beautiful Forevers down even when I wanted to-when the misery, abuse and filth that Boo so elegantly and understatedly describes became almost overwhelming. Her book, situated in a slum on the edge of Mumbai's international airport, is one of the most powerful indictments of economic inequality I've ever read. If Bollywood ever decides to do its own version of The Wire, this would be it." -Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed "A beautiful account, told through real-life storie. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_081297932X

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Book Description Random House Trade Paperbacks. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 081297932X A first book by a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist profiles everyday life in the settlement of Annawadi as experienced by a Muslim teen, an ambitious rural mother of a prospective female college student and a young scrap metal thief, in an account that illuminates how their efforts to build better lives are challenged by regional religious, caste and economic tensions. Reprint. Bookseller Inventory # 16165787

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Book Description Random House Publishing Group, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 132 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780812979329

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