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BGSU Common Experience 2015-16: Behind the Beautiful Forevers: About the Author

A collection of resources about the 2015-16 Common Experience book selection "Behind the Beautiful Forevers"

Author's Biography

Katherine Boo

Katherine Boo is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a former reporter and editor for The Washington Post. She learned to report at the alternative weekly, Washington City Paper, after which she worked as a writer and co-editor of The Washington Monthly magazine. Over the years, her reporting from disadvantaged communities 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. This is her first book.

Information source:

The following link contains a comprehensive biography courtesy of Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau


Boo’s main translators within the project were Unnati Tripathi and Mrinmayee Ranade. Kavita Mishra, Vijaya Chauhan, and Shobha Murthy also helped review material and consulted with Boo.

Interviews with the Author

Reporting Poverty: Emily Brennan interviews Katherine Boo

Boo recounts her background and choices about who, what, and where to write about for the book.  She pulls no punches when wrestling with a journalist’s dilemma in exploiting injustice while also running the risk of being labeled an exploiter.


Written through Tears: The Millions Interviews Katherine Boo

Paul Morton digs into the subject matter of the book, asking Boo to elaborate on key scenes and chapters. Boo offers her process for transferring Annawadi’s vivid scenes and interviewees to the page. She also discusses how poverty in the book parallels other parts of the world.


 Finding ‘Life, Death And Hope’ In A Mumbai Slum

NPR Fresh Air host Dave Davies interviews Katherine Boo, asking questions about investigative reporting in the slums that eventually led to the book. Boo reads a short excerpt from the book and gives a behind the scenes discussion about the people and places she observed.


Katherine Boo Interview with the Wheeler Centre’s Jo Case

Boo sits down for a comprehensive interview about her experiences as a writer in the Mumbai slums and how they translate to the book. This detailed talk offers great depth into the book’s many narrative components and offers a short Q&A section.