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Non Fiction Book Club to Discuss "Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in an Mumbai Undercity" by Katherine Boo - Thursday, January 8 - 6:30 PM


We’re starting the year off right with a brilliant award winning book by Katherine Boo. While the subject matter is difficult at times to take in, this book won the 2012 National Book Award and it’s author, an investigative journalist and staff writer at The New Yorker, has won a Pulitzer and the MacArthur “genius” award.

From the Dust Jacket:

In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bwildering age of global change and inequality is made human.
Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenage, see “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate rout tot the middle class: political corruption. With a litte luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter—Annawadi’s “most everything girl”—will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call “the full enjoy.”
But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, cast, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.
With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.



About the Author: Katherine Boo is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a former reporter and editor for The Washington Post. Her reporting has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur “Genius” grant, and a National Magazine Award for Feature writing. For the last decade, she has divided her time between the United States and India. This is her first book.


The Pollard Library Non Fiction Book Club meets at 6:30pm on the first Thursday of every month and is free an open to the public. Copies of the books to be discussed are available for patrons to borrow at the 1st floor check out. We will be discussing Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo on January 8th at 6:30pm. The next book (to be discussed February 5, 2015 will be The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan). If you have any questions or want more information about this club please contact Sean Thibodeau, Coordinator of Community Planning at 978-674-1542 or