What We’re Reading: Behind the Beautiful Forevers

  1. What are you reading?

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

 2.  How did you make your selection?

It’s the UIS One Book, One Campus selection for this academic year.

3. Describe the book in 20 words or less

Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a true, intimate, and harrowing account of daily life in a Mumbai slum

4. What did you like? What Didn’t You Like?

What I liked: It is well written and, though non-fiction, reads like a novel. The accounts of the slum dwellers are disturbing beyond belief yet engrossing and I found myself wanting to know more.

What I didn’t like: I felt a bit empty about not knowing how the people in the book turned out, but since this is nonfiction and these people are still living their lives that wasn’t a realistic expectation on my part – real life isn’t all about tidy endings.

5. Who would you recommend should read this book?

It is both a beautiful and painful book to read and, for me anyway, had a profound impact on the way I view the global economy and the relationship between government and poverty. I would recommend this book to everyone; it gave me a sense of perspective, an opportunity to reflect on my own privilege, and let me see that even in the worst of circumstances hope survives.

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