Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Boo spent more than three years in Mumbai's Annawadi slum. In her new book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, she profiles people living in extreme poverty — right in the shadow of luxury hotels.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Boo spent three and a half years in Mumbai's Annawadi slum to research for her new book Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Residents of the slum — which is located next to the Mumbai airport and in the shadow of several luxury hotels — live in devastating poverty.
Some inhabitants lack any shelter and sleep outside. Rats commonly bite sleeping children, and barely a handful of the 3,000 residents have the security of full-time employment. Over the course of her three years in Annawadi, Boo learned about the residents' social distinctions, their struggles to escape poverty, and conflicts that sometimes threw them into the clutches of corrupt government officials. Her book reads like a novel, but the characters are real.
"I wasn't just interviewing people," Boo tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "I was going exactly where they went," whether it was teaching kindergarten or stealing scrap metal at the airport or sorting garbage. I would just sit and listen and talk intermittently as they did their work." [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]
This article is filed in: Author Interviews, Books, Economy, Arts & Living, World News
Science writer Florence Williams' new book examines how breasts are changing.
Stevenage: A Place Where You Can't Be From
Journalist Gary Younge has written an essay on Stevenage in the literary magazine Granta.
Lessons In Counterterrorism From The Octopus
The other organisms on the planet have ways of protecting themselves; why not borrow a few ideas?
History, Heartbreak And 'The Chemistry Of Tears'
The hero and the heroine of Peter Carey's new novel are separated by 150 years.
Three Pilgrimages To Gain 'A Sense Of Direction'
Gideon Lewis-Kraus didn't know what to do with his life, so he took three very long walks.
News updates from WGBH