Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Staff Pick - Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Behind the Beautiful Forevers:  Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

- Review by Randy Hertzler - Rockville Campus Librarian

 Winner of the 2012 National Book Award, Katherine Boo’s mesmerizing work of narrative nonfiction draws us into the daily struggle for survival within one of Mumbai’s many slums.  Impeccably researched, the book delves into dizzyingly complex and intertwined issues of extreme poverty and inequality, ethnic and religious boundaries, social stratification, and routine corruption.  Yet the hope, ingenuity, and sheer will of Mumbai’s most powerless – cast into even sharper relief by the city’s efforts to portray itself as a World Class City and status as India’s financial capital – leaves the reader in sheer awe of the human ability to persevere in even the most squalid and challenging of conditions.  Most of all, this book leaves an indelible impression of its characters’ psychology and humanity as they press on against conditions most of us can scarcely imagine.

Available at Rockville (Circulating Collection HV4140 .M86 B66 2012) and Takoma Park (Circulating Collection HV4140 .M86 B66 2012)

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