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Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
Contributor(s): Boo, Katherine (Author)

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ISBN: 1400067553     ISBN-13: 9781400067558
Publisher: Random House
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Binding Type: Hardcover - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: February 2012

Annotation: 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. 35,000 first printing.
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Social Science | Developing & Emerging Countries
- Social Science | Poverty & Homelessness
- History | Asia - India & South Asia
Dewey: 305.569
LCCN: 2011019555
Lexile Measure: 1030(Not Available)
Physical Information: 1.3" H x 6.5" W x 9.3" (1.30 lbs) 288 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 156642
Reading Level: 7.8   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 14.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): 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.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2011 October #3)

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.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC
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