Signed Edition Sweepstakes
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$9.95
List price: $27.00
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Local Warehouse Asia- India Modern

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

by

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

ISBN13: 9781400067558
ISBN10: 1400067553
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $9.95!

 

Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century's great, unequal cities.

In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.

Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees "a fortune beyond counting" in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter — Annawadi's "most-everything girl" — will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call "the full enjoy."

But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.

With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century's hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.

Review:

"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." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"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

Review:

"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

Review:

"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

Review:

"It might surprise you how completely enjoyable this book is, as rich and beautifully written as a novel. In the hierarchy of long form reporting, Katherine Boo is right up there." David Sedaris

Review:

"Deeply researched and brilliantly written... Boo's rigorous inquiry and transcendent prose leave an indelible impression of human beings behind the shibboleths of the New India." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Review:

"Boo creates an intimate, unforgettable portrait of India's urban poor... Boo brilliantly brings to life the residents of Annawadi, allowing the reader to know them and admire the fierce intelligence that allows them to survive in a world not made for them. The best book yet written on India in the throes of a brutal transition." Kirkus (Starred Review)

Review:

"[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

Review:

"A jaw-dropping achievement, an instant classic of narrative nonfiction...With a cinematic intensity....Boo transcends and subverts every cliché, 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

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 11 comments:

noodle fan, September 16, 2014 (view all comments by noodle fan)
Amazing book! I loved the authors obvious deep respect for the individual people she was portraying in her book. So often in non-fiction or journalistic writing the poor are written in a way that does not show the complexity of their lives, their relationships, their moral values. Katherine Boo's book is revolutionary in that she obviously worked really hard to reveal those complexities and subtleties, and that she left herself completely out of the stories in order to let her subjects have fuller voice.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Leslie Wellstein, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by Leslie Wellstein)
This is an excellent non-fiction book about life in a Mumbai slum which reads like a novel.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
ggoodrick, January 3, 2013 (view all comments by ggoodrick)
This is the kind of book that once read, you will never forget. Yes it is heartbreaking but as others have commented, there is a hopefulness here too. It is a good reality check for those of us who sometimes bemoan our problems and inconveniences.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 11 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400067558
Subtitle:
Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
Author:
Boo, Katherine
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
Sociology-Developing Countries
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20120231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
A.&rdquo;<br>&mdash;<i>Entertainment Weekly</i><br
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.5 x 6.5 x 1.24 in 1.3 lb

Other books you might like

  1. Woods Runner New Trade Paper $7.99
  2. The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest... New Trade Paper $16.00
  3. The Castrato and His Wife Sale Trade Paper $9.50
  4. My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, a...
    Used Trade Paper $7.95
  5. Overthrowing Heaven Used Hardcover $6.95

Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Award Winners
Featured Titles » Biography
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
Featured Titles » New Arrivals
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Asia » India » Ancient and General
History and Social Science » Asia » India » Modern
History and Social Science » Current Affairs » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sale Books
History and Social Science » Social Science » Developing Countries
History and Social Science » Sociology » Poverty
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » India
Languages » ESL » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Random House - English 9781400067558 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "It might surprise you how completely enjoyable this book is, as rich and beautifully written as a novel. In the hierarchy of long form reporting, Katherine Boo is right up there."
"Review" by , "Deeply researched and brilliantly written... Boo's rigorous inquiry and transcendent prose leave an indelible impression of human beings behind the shibboleths of the New India."
"Review" by , "Boo creates an intimate, unforgettable portrait of India's urban poor... Boo brilliantly brings to life the residents of Annawadi, allowing the reader to know them and admire the fierce intelligence that allows them to survive in a world not made for them. The best book yet written on India in the throes of a brutal transition."
"Review" by , "[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."
"Review" by , "A jaw-dropping achievement, an instant classic of narrative nonfiction...With a cinematic intensity....Boo transcends and subverts every cliché, 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."
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.