NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST
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
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.
From the Hardcover edition.
"[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 nonfiction...With a cinematic intensity...Boo transcends and subverts every cliche, 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."
"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."
"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)
--"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
"Gripping...A 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 re
Format: Audio CD
Published: 7th February 2012
Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE
Dimensions (cm): 18.593 x 13.03 x 2.946
Weight (kg): 0.331