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BGSU Common Experience 2015-16: Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Book Reviews

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

Acclaim

Fighting For Scraps: Katherine Boo’s ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’ explores a Mumbai Slum

Pankaj Mishra acknowledges Boo’s eye for detail and portrayal of Mumbai’s political and social landscape.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/books/review/katherine-boos-behind-the-beautiful-forevers-explores-a-mumbai-slum.html

 

Book Review: ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers,' by Katherine Boo

Washington Post reviewer, Shashi Tharoor applauds Boo’s book for its depth, rich detail, perspective, and thought provoking themes.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/book-review-behind-the-beautiful-forevers-by-katherine-boo/2012/01/26/gIQA848t4Q_story.html

 

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

The Guardian’s William Dalrymple addresses the book as having a Dickens-like quality without falling into sentimentalism. The piece acknowledges the challenges of creating such a book and the wit Boo draws upon in her writing.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jun/22/beautiful-forevers-katherine-boo-review

Criticism

The Letdown of ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’

Paul Beckett acknowledges the talent of Boo and the success of the book, but questions some her interviewing and information gathering techniques. Beckett feels Boo sometimes interviews slum dwellers that have little fact to add to the story while failing to interview characters, such as Sister Paulette, who live and operate outside of the slum.

http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2012/04/30/the-letdown-of-behind-the-beautiful-forevers/

 

How the West still views India through a colonial mindset

Sandeep Balakrishna offers several counterpoints to Boo’s reporting and the representation of India in general by western writers. He accuses Boo of “mining the worst” and claims, “misery journalism is pretty rewarding” as a primary reason for why writers focus on India’s slums.

http://www.dailyo.in/arts/how-the-west-still-views-india-through-a-colonial-mindset-william-dalrymple-katherine-boo-patrick-french/story/1/1928.html