Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity

Editorial reviews

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity

Boo, in letting go of her story, in dwelling with it relatively briefly in her book's 250 pages (in contrast to the years she spent with the slum-dwellers), allows it to resonate with us as a small classic of contemporary writing.

Useless to describe the singular power of this book; it is, quite simply, one of the finest works on contemporary India yet written.

Though it is evident that Boo’s documentary research has been as exhaustive as her interviews, she wears it lightly. Some readers may feel this as a want of context but there is no shortage of thumping sociological and economic tomes on modern India. The close focus of Behind the Beautiful Forevers is what gives it its clarity, and makes it so affecting.

A depiction of despair and dreams in an Indian megacity that is as vivid as great fiction