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Books

BOOK REVIEW

‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’ by Katherine Boo

A dive into horrific poverty on the edge of Mumbai plumbs the painful ironies of globalism and an emerging India

I read Pulitzer-winner Katherine Boo’s book, “Behind the Beautiful Forevers,’’ first with discomfort, then moral outrage, and later with a sense of despair.

Character development. An acute ear for dialogue and idiom. A sense of place. These are the essential ingredients of a good novel. So what’s a fiction writer like me supposed to do when Boo employs all these and writes a book of nonfiction so stellar it puts most novels to shame? How can I not envy a work that takes us on harrowing journey into an unfamiliar world of an urban slum and makes us citizens of that world?

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