Katherine Boo on Behind the Beautiful Forevers

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Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Boo tells the story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a slum in Mumbai, India. Her book Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity was awarded the National Book Award for nonfiction. It's based on three years of reporting on the lives of Annawadi residents, including Abdul, a Muslim teenager who scavenges for recyclables; Asha, who is seeking a route to the middle class through political corruption; and her daughter Manju, who will soon become Annawadi’s first female college graduate. When terrorism and the global economic recession shake Mumbai, suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal.