Tonight at Powell's, Katherine Boo reads from Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, a nonfiction exploration of life in a Mumbai slum. The New York Times reviewed it glowingly a few days ago:
But “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” is, above all, a moral inquiry in the great tradition of Oscar Lewis and Michael Harrington. As Boo explains in an author’s note, the spectacle of Mumbai’s “profound and juxtaposed inequality” provoked a line of questioning: “What is the infrastructure of opportunity in this society? Whose capabilities are given wing by the market and a government’s economic and social policy? Whose capabilities are squandered? . . . Why don’t more of our unequal societies implode?” Her eye is as shrewdly trained on the essential facts of politics and commerce as on the intimate, the familial and, indeed, the monstrously absurd: the college-going girl who struggles to figure out “Mrs. Dalloway” while her closest friend, about to be forced into an arranged marriage, consumes rat poison, and dies (though not before the doctors attending her extort 5,000 rupees, or $100, from her parents).
Here's the book trailer:
Boo is reading tonight at the downtown store, 1005 W Burnside, 7:30 pm
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