Katherine Boo biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Katherine Boo

Katherine Boo

Katherine Boo Biography

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 a 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, the birthplace of her husband, Sunil Khilnani. Her first book Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity was published in 2012.

Katherine Boo's website

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Interview

In an engrossing and thoughtful interview with editor Kate Medina, Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo discusses her experiences researching the people of Annawadi, India for her book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers.

For two decades, and currently at The New Yorker, you've written about the distribution of opportunity, and the means by which people might get out of poverty, in America. What inspired you to start asking the same kinds of questions in India?
My husband is an Indian citizen, and since we met in 2001, I've been watching the landscape of his country transform as its economy grows. Some of the change is staggeringly obvious, like the skyscraping luxury condominiums with stirring views of other skyscraping luxury condominiums. But I couldn't quite make out what had and hadn't changed in historically poor communities. I generally find issues of poverty, opportunity, and global development to be over-theorized and under-reported. And it seemed to me that in India, as in the U.S., some of the experts most ready to describe how lower-income people are faring weren't spending much time with those people.

What made you focus your reporting on Mumbai?
It's the city in which I've spent most time, for one. But I also found the Mumbai of film and book to be a slightly lopsided cosmos. For all the lush and brilliant depictions of wild festivals, meglomaniacal gangsters, and soulful prostitutes, I felt stinted of some everyday truths. I...

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Books by this Author

Books by Katherine Boo at BookBrowse
Behind the Beautiful Forevers jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Katherine Boo but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Matthew Desmond

    Matthew Desmond

    Matthew Desmond is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and codirector of the Justice and Poverty Project. A former member of the Harvard Society of Fellows, he is the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Behind the Beautiful Forevers

    Try:
    Evicted
    by Matthew Desmond

  • Paul Fischer

    Paul Fischer

    Paul Fischer is a film producer who studied social sciences at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris and film at the University of Southern California and the New York Film Academy. Paul's first feature film, the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Behind the Beautiful Forevers

    Try:
    A Kim Jong-Il Production
    by Paul Fischer

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Book Discussion
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