Her own absence from the encounters with her biographees, the complete and unflagging access to their thoughts and speech, the decision to adopt the novelistic approach – perhaps these, and not the depressing nature of writing about a microcosm of abject poverty within a booming India, are the greatest risks Boo takes. Behind the Beautiful Forevers feels like a mixture of a challenging film documentary and a superior TV soap with a good story line, which may not be what you’d expect to hear about the latest play by David Hare, one of the UK National Theatre’s star playwrights. Behind the Beautiful Forever’s. In … Docudrama meets quality soap opera in David Hare’s latest truth commission. Behind a wall emblazoned with an ad for tiles that will be “beautiful forever”, about 3,000 people live in 335 huts out of site from users of the modern airport and its luxury hotels. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Behind the Beautiful Forevers: life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity at Amazon.com. His tardiness has got me a bit worried on missing my blow-dry appointment. Personally, I suspect ALL unequal society eventually impload - they are just replaced with another slightly less unequal society until that replacement imploads...and so on. I found it disjointed and strangely unaffecting for most of its length, and even boring some of the time. But I wanted a more detailed look into a world I knew existed from films and other books so although the audio version wasn't a 5 star, my interest was kindled. This is how Asha, an ambitious woman who has set her sights on being slumlord in Annawadi, a large slum close to Sahar International Airport in Mumbai, replies to men who'd take advantage of her for her "large breasts and her small, drunken husband". People whose prospects improve are clearly those whose prospects are already good. Shall I strip naked and dance for you now?'" She learned to report at the alternative weekly, Washington City Paper, after which she worked as a writer and co-editor of The Washington Monthly magazine. The third family is Asha's. It’s been a distressful morning. Boo has worked hard to amass her facts and get them right. Among the poor, there was no doubt that instability fostered ingenuity, but over time the lack of a link between effort and result could become debilitating. I am an Indian National and a lot of this is already heard of, and still the insight is profoundly beautiful along with a courageous display of hopes. I was greatly moved, and mostly uplifted, by this narrative account of the daily life and careers of real individuals and families in a slum near Mumbai’s airport called Annawadi. Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a magnificent achievement, one that could not happen in the Commercial Theatre sector. BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS LIFE, DEATH, AND HOPE IN A MUMBAI UNDERCITY. Stare straight. Behind the Beautiful Forevers is the story of life in Annawadi, a slum situated close to Mumbai Airport. Welcome back. Apparently, it isn't enough that most are ill from their habitats and scorned by society. I was excited about reading this book after reading the reviews; however, it did not live up to the kudos. What is also striking is seeing how the people Boo writes about have hope in circumstances, that from the outside, seem so wholly hopeless, so impossible to overcome. The story focuses, principally, on three families. This is her first book, in which she chronicles several years (from late 2007 to early 2011). This is one compelling read, and the truly stunning thing about it is that it is all true. Behind The Beautiful Forevers: An Introduction Katherine Boo’s first book, Behind The Beautiful Forevers, details the lives of the citizens of Annawadi, a small slum in Mumbai, India. Like the imperial monuments of the past, the airport always exists in the background, a crushing symbol. The author is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has covered social inequalities in the past. November 10, 2020. Since she doesn't know any Indian languages, she had translators throughout, one of whom must have helped her understand the sort of rejoinder that Asha made to Robert, ex-slumlord and one of her tormentors. Start by marking “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity Katherine Boo. I can't hear my radio!"' Poverty without hope destroys humanity. For the last decade, she has divided her time between the United States and India, the birthplace of her husband, Sunil Khilnani. I even called the company. The contrast between the economic “haves” and “have nots” is so blatant here. After this, Boo goes back in time, describing life in Annawadi until, one third of our way into the book, we witness the events that led to Fatima's act of self-destruction. Zehrunisa is impatient to put the money her family saved to use: a new window in the hut to "let out the cooking smoke", new tiles on the floor. Read in: 4 minutes. This book is quite an achievement. I read through practically in one gulp, hardly coming up for air. As others have said, it reads like a novel, the characterizations are so finely-drawn. Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011. Boo took home the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2012 for this novel about the injustice and cyclical nature of poverty in India, so I imagine it is rather well read by my fellow Goodreadians. Wow! Troublesome as it is for a detour to the supermarket for packaged milk, my domestic help decided to call it a day as it is the last day to confirm her receipt for a governmental pension of her deceased alcoholic husband. “Much of what was said did not matter, and that much of what mattered could not be said.”, “What you don't want is always going to be with you, http://www.behindthebeautifulforevers.com/, Pulitzer Prize Nominee for General Nonfiction (2013), National Book Award for Nonfiction (2012), PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction (2013), Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism (2013), Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest (2012), Dayton Literary Peace Prize Nominee for Nonfiction (2013), National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee for General Nonfiction (2012), NAIBA Book of the Year for Nonfiction (2012), Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction Nominee (2012), Andrew Carnegie Medal Nominee for Nonfiction (2013), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Nonfiction (2012). I found myself brokenhearted by the recurrent police and governmental corruption they must wade through in order to just exist. My question is actually one the author herself asked in the Author's Note; on page 248, she queries "After all, there are more poor people than rich people in the world's Mumbais. Oh! I read through practically in one gulp, hardly coming up for air. by Katherine Boo (Random House, 2012) In a Flaubertian irony, Manju studies Congreve's The Way of the World, a sleazy tale about "first-class people", without fully comprehending the text. I had three days to spend in Mumbai this February, and, reading my Lonely Planet guidebook, I considered undertaking a "slum tour." An Indian man I met had also recommended it. All those poor little rich kids. In spite of their loss of dreams and position, I was impressed by the resilience of most. The shrill women voices are really spot on! There's a lot to say about this book and a lot to think about. The milkman won’t be delivering the daily liter of milk; his house was razed by the local municipality. This book is quite an achievement. While the book deconstructs this romance, Boo is concerned not only with the crisis and its aftermath, but with the period before Annawadi will be destroyed by the airport authorities. Friends recommended that I listen to that first, which I did, but I listened to it again after completing the book. I listened to the audiobook narrated perfectly by Sunil Malhorta. Behind the Beautiful Forevers (with Katherine Boo and Meera Syal) Hare has adapted decisively, skilfully cutting a swath of narrative from a myriad competing tales. An Indian man I met had also recommended it. Futile visits to the local political corporator and pleading to a rigid money-lender for a loan is what his weekly schedule looks like. This work, winner of the 2012’s National Book Award and written by Pulitzer winner Katherine Boo, is the result of three years she spent in Annawadi, a slum in Mumbai, India. The author describes a wide array of hardships these people have to deal … Book review: ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers,’ by Katherine Boo. I KEPT ON ASKING HOW THIS COULD NOT BE FICTION. But it's also because over the course of three years in India she got extraordinary access to the lives and minds of the Annawadi slum, a settlement nestled jarringly close to a shiny international airport and a row of luxury hotels. I was raised in great poverty, and have a first-hand understanding of its effects. Extreme poverty usually strips "civilized" behavior from individuals and groups. As Katherine Boo states in her Author's Note, This book leaves you feeling devastated. Not only do I have to check the availability of another maid, but go and pick my dry cleaning as the delivery boy was arrested for trying to sell vegetables on the street corner disregarding any philanthropic duties to the patrolling authorities. 2 stars for the abridged version. The first time allows you to listen to the details of the individuals and judge their validity. Refresh and try again. Asha's daughter, Manju, is probably the most idealistic person in Annawadi, an undergraduate who helps run her mother's school (a side-business), and for whom a university degree in English and teacher training comprise the chosen route out of the slum into the realm of "first-class people". Behind the Beautiful Forevers paints a vivid picture of the corrupted slums of Annawadi. Here's four things I liked, and one thing I didn't like about the audiobook of. I saw specials on TV, which showed beautiful new apartment complexes. It's certainly refreshing to see so … If you liked Slumdog Millionaire you will probably like this book. He … Friends recommended that I listen to that first, which I did, but I listened to it again after completing the book. Reading this part twice is what I advise. Mirchi was impatiently awaiting his best friend, Rahul, a Hindu boy who lived a few huts away, and who had become an Annawadi celebrity. The crisis of the book, where Fatima immolates herself to implicate her neighbour Zehrunisa's son Abdul, an absurd act of vengeance that goes badly wrong, is recounted at the beginning. Mercifully, my chauffeur seems to have escaped from any such problematic liabilities. This is much scarier than any STEPHEN KING novel. Over the years, her reporting from disadvantaged communities has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur “Genius” grant, and a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. I even called the company. National Theatre. 10,915 reviews. What does she suggest be done to improve the situation? I struggled a lot with how to review this because it's hard to separate the quality of the book from how it made me feel. Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo Katherine Boo should be an honorary Peace Corps Volunteer. It’s a great adaptation of a true story, pulsing with theatricality and human spirit. Futile visits to the local political corporator and pleading to a rigid money-lender for a loan is what his weekly schedule looks like. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. Can anyone compare it with The City of Joy? [Behind the Beautiful Forevers] plays out like a swift, richly plotted novel. You simply cannot walk away untouched. I was excited about reading this book after reading the reviews; however, it did not live up to the kudos. The reportage is thorough and passionate and careful and what it does best is reveal both the simplicity and complexity of absolute poverty. What a wretched day it is!! To get the latest news, reviews, interviews, new show alerts and ticket offers, sign up to our weekly newsletter And I couldn't go through with it because it was a question I couldn't answer. I spent the entire reading reminding myself that these were real people so that I would endeavor to feel something toward their story. She's a worker for the Shiv Sena, the extreme rightwing Marathi chauvinist party, and nurses small-scale political ambitions that she believes will lead to her becoming, one day, slumlord. Photograph: Rafiq Maqbool/AP, a large slum close to Sahar International Airport in Mumbai, Muriel Spark's account of Miss Brodie's excursion with the "Brodie set" into the old town in Edinburgh. Behind the Beautiful Forevers review – a triumph for David Hare and Meera Syal. For most of us, an image or a vignette would be enough to. An Introduction. It's too easy to criticize this book. The depressing sequence of events is laid out starkly but the explantion of motives is not always convincing. I'd seen the slums from the air, as we descended into Mumbai airport. The author herself narrates the afterword which explains the author's methodology. Thus, the authors of such publications try to attract the attention of the global society to their problems. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity is a non-fiction book written by the Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo in 2012. 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. Fiction. Behind The Beautiful Forevers tickets are not currently available. Tssk tssk. I hated Slumdog Millionaire and I didn't like this book. Young Abdul is an expert sifter of garbage, selling discarded recyclable items with a degree of success that briefly transform his family's – his parents' and two siblings' – fortunes, while earning them the envy of their neighbour, Fatima. This is her first book, in which she chronicles several years (from late 2007 to early 2011) in the lives of select families living in a slum near the Mumbai International Airport. After the crisis, the lives of her subjects begin to unravel and the writing becomes more essayistic. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. And this, in turn, produces a paradoxical masterfulness; we see that it isn't information or research that Boo is bringing to us, but a quality of attention. Behind the Beautiful Forevers Review 2014 Forbidden Broadway used to have a great line about Les Miserables and its merchandising opportunities: ""Rich folks pay fifty bucks a shirt / that has a starving pauper on it. This is an amazing story about families who live and work in a Mumbai slum. It's National Book Lovers Day! by Random House, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. The latter, a cripple, is also known as One Leg, and is famous in the slum for a sexual appetite her ageing husband can't satisfy. Her first book "Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity" was published in 2012. ", See all 11 questions about Behind the Beautiful Forevers…, New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2012 (fiction and nonfiction), Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License, Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation. So much of the book echoed with what I know about the slums of Port au Prince, for example. When resources are scarce to non-existent, humans generally resort to whatever means necessary to ensure their survival. --Yet--I waited long enough! Yes, we have gross inequalities in our own society, but I doubt anything can touch what you will read in these pages. Yes, I am glad I listened to it. Over the years, her reporting from disadvantaged communities has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur “Genius” grant, a. Katherine (Kate) J. Boo is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a former reporter and editor for The Washington Post. Katherine Boo spent years reporting in the airport settlement of Annawadi, and the book unfolds like a novel. ... Why don't more of our unequal societies implode? by Katherine Boo ... Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2011. Dear Lord! What is also striking is seeing how the people Boo writes about have hope in circumstances, that from the outside, seem so wholly hopel. I didn’t know what I was looking at, or more aptly, looking for – of course, there was this wall ahead, 3 feet ahead – but I wasn’t looking at it; I was looking for ‘faces’; faces that I’ve imagined floating between my eyes and the pages of the book while I was reading it; faces that don’t resemble anyone I know, but faces that might resemble closely with the people living right now, even a. Stare. Se. Faces that I’ll see as I go to bed this morning, for time just passed as I immersed myself in this book. The breaking of the old floor by Abdul and his brother frays Fatima's nerves: '"You're all hammering too loud! The first time allows you to listen to the details of the individuals and j. While a novel might be a clear starting point for such a transformation, David Hare’s new play Behind the Beautiful Forevers instead bases its script on Katherine Boo’s vast work of non-fiction that documents a panorama of poverty and corruption in the slums neighbouring Mumbai airport. She worries that, as a foreigner, she lacks the "immersion" a native would have in their milieu; but maybe natives become disengaged, while outsiders inhabit their chosen spaces more fully. Review: Behind The Beautiful Forevers. The writing, here, comes sharply alive; the madness of these scenes (a drunk man with TB helping Abdul with the work, falling from the weight of a stone he has to lift) shows Boo at her most economical – horror and comedy become inextricable. The reason why I say so is the way author has put across the irony of our existences is quite shatterr, This book is not easy to read, let me be clear. While it started on a promising note and held my attention until about the halfway mark, I could sense a growing disappointment with both style and substance. Somehow, seeing pictures of it doesn't lessen the shock of seeing it in real life, the row on row of monochromatic dun-coloured ragged shacks ringing Mumbai's glitziest highrise hotels. Just from $10/Page. Sadly, the rich vs poor scenario has existed for thousands of years and can be found everywhere in the world. The Emilia Romagna Region and Its 3 Famous P's - Prosciutto, Parmigiano and Pavarotti! Behind the Beautiful Forevers is the story of Abdul (and about a hundred other residents -- try keeping all of them straight) and his life in Annawadi, an illegal settlement of trash, sewage and corruption outside the Mumbai airport. She learned to report at the alternative weekly, Washington City Paper, after which she worked as a writer and co-editor of The Washington Monthly magazine. 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