9781400067558

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

Boo, Katherine

ISBN 10: 1400067553 / 1-4000-6755-3
ISBN 13: 9781400067558
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 2012
Binding: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
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

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

Review

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Book Description: Random House. 1 Cloth(s), 2012. hard. Book Condition: New. (Winner of the National Book Award, PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award, Helen Bernstein Book Award, and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and named one of the Ten Best Books of 2012 by the New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald, and San Francisco Chronicle) Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Katherine Boo gives us an unprecedented perspective on our bewildering age of chaotic global economies and inequities through the lives of families striving toward a better life in a makeshift slum along the road to Mumbai airport. Boo spent years among the residents of Annawadi, all hoping to build a better life—Abdul the garbage picker, his hardworking mother Zehrunisa, Asha the unofficial slumlord, and her daughter Manju, who dreams of going to college—until terror and global recession rock the city, and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and envy turn brutal. Fast-moving and utterly gripping, their stories read like fiction. "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."—NYTimes 259. Bookseller Inventory # 41439

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