Behind the Beautiful Forevers

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Author: Katherine Boo
Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Katherine Boo’s debut book is a riveting account of her time in Annawadi, a slum near the Mumbai airport. Her portrayal of characters is masterful; reaching past the poverty and deprivation of living between the city’s international airport and the Hyatt, Boo describes the residents’ ambitions and dreams in vivid, concise prose that escapes any sentimental pathos. From the fgarbage sorter Abdul’s aspirations to lift his family out of the slum by putting down an installment on a plot of land in Vashi; to sweet-tempered Manju’s worries about marriage as Annawadi’s only college-going girl; her mother Asha’s ambition to gain enough political power by whatever means possible to situate herself as the slumlord, the characters come across with the vivid brilliance of Boo’s understated insights. One of the best non-fiction books to be written about India in recent years, this is a must-read for all interested in development, social equality and urban life. (Rs. 499)

 

Volume 1 Issue 10

 

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