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

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

Rating

9.0

The Pequod Review:

Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a vivid, first-hand account of life in one of Mumbai‚Äôs slums (Annawadi, a neighborhood of about 3,000 people near the Mumbai Airport; here is a video). Boo did real research for this one, spending three years living among the residents, and she describes the intelligence and survival instincts of various individuals, including a buyer of recyclable trash, a Muslim matriarch living among Hindu neighbors, and a young boy who is a master scavenger. What comes across more than anything is the way many Annawadians have an innate ability to create meaning and structure in their lives, even in the midst of widespread poverty and an absence of any real rule of law.