Katherine Boo
My review of Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers
I reviewed Katherine Boo’s amazing book Behind the Beautiful Forevers for FT. May 12, 2012 Life on the edge Review by Vikas Swarup A depiction of despair and dreams in an Indian megacity that is as vivid as great fiction Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum, by Katherine Boo, Portobello, RRP £14.99/ Random House, RRP $27, 288 pages Katherine Boo’s debut book Behind the Beautiful Forevers derives from a simple premise: that “better arguments, maybe even better policies, get formulated when we know about ordinary lives”. Boo, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, has devoted much of her career to chronicling poor communities in the US. Now she turns her eye to India, spending a little over three years – from November 2007 until March 2011 – documenting “life, death, and hope in a Mumbai slum”. The result is a bravura work of non-fiction that goes beyond clichéd, patronising depictions of poverty to raise uncomfortable questions about justice and opportunity for India’s urban poor in the age of global market capitalism. Read the rest of the review on