Behind the Beautiful ForeversLarge Print - 2012
From Library Staff
multcolib_northportland Mar 04, 2015
The author says in an interview with her editor "to me a signature smell of Mumbai is the same as that in many other developing cities. It's the smell of sweat- of people hustling and maneuvering to find a niche in the global economy." Katherine Boo spent three years with the peopl... Read More »
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.
multcolib_recommends1 Jun 12, 2013
"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 journa... Read More »
Multcolib_Research Apr 24, 2013
An engrossing book that plunges the reader into an Indian slum in the shadow of gleaming hotels near Mumbai’s airport, revealing a complex subculture where poverty does not extinguish aspiration. (Pulitzer Prize citation)
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
"Water and ice were made of the same thing. He [Abdul] thought most people were made of the same thing, too. He himself was probably little different, constitutionally, from the cynical, corrupt people around him - the police officers and the special executive officer and the morgue doctor who fixed Kalu's death. If he had to sort all humanity by its material essence, he thought he would probably end up with a single gigantic pile. But here was the interesting thing. Ice was distinct from - and in his view, better than - what it was made of.
"He wanted to be better than what he was made of. In Mumbai's dirty water, he wanted to be ice. He wanted to have ideals. For self-interested reasons, one of the ideals he most wanted to have was a belief in the possibility of justice." (p. 218)
"When I settle into a place, listening and watching, I don't try to fool myself that the stories of individuals are themselves arguments. I just believe that better arguments, maybe even better policies, get formulated when we know more about ordinary lives." (p. 251)
"There being no way around the not-being-Indian business, I tried to compensate for my limitations the same way I do in unfamiliar American territory: by time spent, attention paid, documentation secured, accounts cross-checked." (p. 249)
"He [Sunil] was well suited to his work as a new-economy microsaboteur." (p. 194)
SummaryAdd a Summary
An incredibly well researched and well told story of the lives of slum dwellers in Mumbai which captures their struggles, hopes, resilience and adaptability. Katherine Boo spent several years getting to know some of the residents of a slum near the Mumbai airport and presents a gripping story based primarily on the Muslim family of Abdul , a garbage sorter, who is falsely accused of a crime that has grave repercussions for his family. We see through the lives of these slum dwellers the impact of pervasive corruptness, globalization, religion, caste and gender. Quick paced and well told
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