Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
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In this brilliant, breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport. As India starts to prosper, the residents of Annawadi are electric with hope. Abdul, an enterprising teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Meanwhile Asha, a woman of formidable ambition, has identified a shadier route to the middle class. With a little luck, her beautiful daughter, Annawadi’s “most-everything girl,” might become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest children, like the young thief Kalu, feel themselves inching closer to their dreams. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal. With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects people to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, based on years of uncompromising reporting, carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds—and into the hearts of families impossible to forget. Winner of the National Book Award | The PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award | The Los Angeles Times Book Prize | The American Academy of Arts and Letters Award | The New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times • The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • USA Today • New York • The Miami Herald • San Francisco Chronicle • Newsday NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker • People • Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • The Boston Globe • The Economist • Financial Times • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • Foreign Policy • The Seattle Times • The Nation • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Denver Post • Minneapolis Star Tribune • Salon • The Plain Dealer • The Week • Kansas City Star • Slate • Time Out New York • Publishers Weekly NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “A book of extraordinary intelligence [and] humanity . . . beyond groundbreaking.”—Junot Díaz, The New York Times Book Review “Reported like Watergate, written like Great Expectations, and handily the best international nonfiction in years.”—New York “This book is both a tour de force of social justice reportage and a literary masterpiece.”—Judges’ Citation for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award “[A] landmark book.”—The Wall Street Journal “A triumph of a book.”—Amartya Sen “There are books that change the way you feel and see; this is one of them.”—Adrian Nicole LeBlanc “[A] stunning piece of narrative nonfiction . . . [Katherine] Boo’s prose is electric.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “Inspiring, and irresistible . . . Boo’s extraordinary achievement is twofold. She shows us how people in the most desperate circumstances can find the resilience to hang on to their humanity. Just as important, she makes us care.”—People
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle •Chicago Tribune • The Christian Science Monitor • Publishers Weekly In Strength in What Remains, Tracy Kidder gives us the story of one man’s inspiring American journey and of the ordinary people who helped him, providing brilliant testament to the power of second chances. Deo arrives in the United States from Burundi in search of a new life. Having survived a civil war and genocide, he lands at JFK airport with two hundred dollars, no English, and no contacts. He ekes out a precarious existence delivering groceries, living in Central Park, and learning English by reading dictionaries in bookstores. Then Deo begins to meet the strangers who will change his life, pointing him eventually in the direction of Columbia University, medical school, and a life devoted to healing. Kidder breaks new ground in telling this unforgettable story as he travels with Deo back over a turbulent life and shows us what it means to be fully human. BONUS: This edition contains a Strength in What Remains discussion guide. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Named one of the Top 10 Nonfiction Books of the year by Time • Named one of the year’s “10 Terrific Reads” by O: The Oprah Magazine “Extraordinarily stirring . . . a miracle of human courage.”—The Washington Post “Absorbing . . . a story about survival, about perseverance and sometimes uncanny luck in the face of hell on earth. . . . It is just as notably about profound human kindness.”—The New York Times “Important and beautiful . . . This book is one you won’t forget.”—Portland Oregonian
Every morning in Sadar Bazaar, one of the oldest markets in Delhi, a gang of men gather looking for work in the building trade. For five years, Aman Sethi shared their lives, and in particular that of Mohammed Ashraf. Ashraf is a mazdoor, an itinerant house-painter, but he's not a typical labourer - he's studied biology in college, and after college learnt how to repair TV sets, cut suits, and slice chicken. He lived all over India, but now he finds himself in Delhi: the second most populous city in the country. The morning will bring hangovers, whisky breakfasts and possibly answers to the lingering questions that haunt Ashraf. How did he get here? Why is he the way he is? And is there a way back home? One of the very best young journalists in India, Aman Sethi brings Ashraf vividly alive and illuminates the lives of countless others like him. Wry, humorous and insightful, A Free Man is an unforgettable portrait of an invisible man in his invisible city, and an extraordinary human story.
Her name means “miracle” in Sanskrit, and to her parents, that’s exactly what Kimaya is. The first baby to survive after several miscarriages, Kimi grows up in a mansion at the top of Mumbai’s Pali Hill, surrounded by love and privilege. But at eleven years old, she develops a rare illness that requires her to be confined to a germ-free ivory tower in her home, with only the Arabian Sea churning outside her window for company. . . . Until one person dares venture into her world. Tasked at fourteen years old with supporting his family, Rahul Savant shows up to wash Kimi’s windows, and an unlikely friendship develops across the plastic curtain of her isolation room. As years pass, Rahul becomes Kimi’s eyes to the outside world—and she becomes his inspiration to better himself by enrolling in the police force. But when a life-saving heart transplant offers the chance of a real future, both must face all that ties them together and keeps them apart. As Kimi anticipates a new life, Rahul struggles with loving someone he may yet lose. And when his investigation into a black market organ ring run by a sociopathic gang lord exposes dangerous secrets that cut too close to home, only Rahul's deep, abiding connection with Kimi can keep her safe—and reveal the true meaning of courage, loss, and second chances. Infused with the rhythms of life in modern-day India, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s candid, rewarding novel beautifully evokes all the complexities of the human heart. Praise for Sonali Dev and A Change of Heart “In Dev’s seductive and complex story of love lost and then found, one layer of mystery leads to the next. . . . Will hold a permanent place in readers’ hearts.” –Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW “Dev deftly navigates the complex themes of bereavement, motherhood, and how the culture of India exists in America. . . . This is stunning all around.” –Booklist, STARRED REVIEW “Mystery, adventure, and romance are spiced with Bollywood glamour in this heart-stopping novel.... Riveting.” --Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
"The Most Powerful Idea in the World argues that the very notion of intellectual property drove not only the invention of the steam engine but also the entire Industrial Revolution." -- Back cover.
The human face of poverty The poor in India are, too often, reduced to statistics. In the dry language of development reports and economic projections, the true misery of the 312 million who live below the poverty line, or the 26 million displaced by various projects, or the 13 million who suffer from tuberculosis gets overlooked. In this thoroughly researched study of the poorest of the poor, we get to see how they manage, what sustains them, and the efforts, often ludicrous, to do something for them. The people who figure in this book typify the lives and aspirations of a large section of Indian society, and their stories present us with the true face of development.
A place of spectacle and ruin, Mumbai exemplifies the cosmopolitan metropolis. It is not just a big city but also a soaring vision of modern urban life. Millions from India and beyond, of different ethnicities, languages, and religions, have washed up on its shores, bringing with them their desires and ambitions. Mumbai Fables explores the mythic inner life of this legendary city as seen by its inhabitants, journalists, planners, writers, artists, filmmakers, and political activists. In this remarkable cultural history of one of the world's most important urban centers, Gyan Prakash unearths the stories behind its fabulous history, viewing Mumbai through its turning points and kaleidoscopic ideas, comic book heroes, and famous scandals--the history behind Mumbai's stories of opportunity and oppression, of fabulous wealth and grinding poverty, of cosmopolitan desires and nativist energies. Starting from the catastrophic floods and terrorist attacks of recent years, Prakash reaches back to the sixteenth-century Portuguese conquest to reveal the stories behind Mumbai's historic journey. Examining Mumbai's role as a symbol of opportunity and reinvention, he looks at its nineteenth-century development under British rule and its twentieth-century emergence as a fabled city on the sea. Different layers of urban experience come to light as he recounts the narratives of the Nanavati murder trial and the rise and fall of the tabloid Blitz, and Mumbai's transformation from the red city of trade unions and communists into the saffron city of Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena. Starry-eyed planners and elite visionaries, cynical leaders and violent politicians of the street, land sharks and underworld dons jostle with ordinary citizens and poor immigrants as the city copes with the dashed dreams of postcolonial urban life and lurches into the seductions of globalization. Shedding light on the city's past and present, Mumbai Fables offers an unparalleled look at this extraordinary metropolis.
It's not just that rich people don't know what they've got. They don't even know what they throw away. India is beginning to prosper. But beyond the luxury hotels surrounding Mumbai airport is an obstacle, a makeshift slum. It's home to foul mouthed Zehrunisa and her garbage sorting son Abdul, entrepreneurs both. Sunil, twelve, picks plastic. Manju, schoolteacher, hopes to be the settlement's first woman to gain a degree. Asha, go-to woman, exploits every scam to become a first-class person. And Fatima, One Leg, is about to make an accusation that will destroy herself and shatter the neighbourhood. Katherine Boo spent three years under the flight-path, recording the lives of Annawadi's diverse inhabitants. Now from Boo's book, which won the National Book Award for Non-Fiction in 2012, David Hare has fashioned an epic play for the stage which details the ingenious and sometimes violent ways in which the poor and disadvantaged negotiate with corruption to seek a handhold on capitalism's lowest rungs. David Hare's stage adaptation of Behind the Beautiful Forevers premiered at the National Theatre, London, in November 2014.
LONGLISTED for the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD A “blistering yet tender” (Publishers Weekly) memoir that chronicles one chef’s journey from foraging on her family’s Midwestern farm to running her own Michelin-starred restaurant and finding her place in the world. Iliana Regan grew up the youngest of four headstrong girls on a small farm in Indiana. While gathering raspberries as a toddler, Regan learned to only pick the ripe fruit. In the nearby fields, the orange flutes of chanterelle mushrooms beckoned her while they eluded others. Regan’s profound connection with food and the earth began in childhood, but connecting with people was more difficult. She grew up gay in an intolerant community, was an alcoholic before she turned twenty, and struggled to find her voice as a woman working in an industry dominated by men. But food helped her navigate the world around her—learning to cook in her childhood home, getting her first restaurant job at age fifteen, teaching herself cutting-edge cuisine while hosting an underground supper club, and working her way from front-of-house staff to running her own kitchen. Regan’s culinary talent is based on instinct, memory, and an almost otherworldly connection to ingredients, and her writing comes from the same place. Raw, filled with startling imagery and told with uncommon emotional power, Burn the Place takes us from Regan’s childhood farmhouse kitchen to the country’s most elite restaurants in a galvanizing tale that is entirely original, and unforgettable.
The Arivind Eye Care System treats 2.7 million patients a year in the developing world for blindness and other eye problems and seems to violate every rule of business. Patients pay what they want (if they pay at all, which most don't), it delivers services for one percent of the cost of comparable care in developed countries, functions at many times the volume with a lower complication rate, and is completely self-sustaining. This book is the first to tell its extraordinary story.
Random Family tells the American outlaw saga lurking behind the headlines of gangsta glamour, gold-drenched drug dealers, and street-corner society. With an immediacy made possible only after ten years of reporting, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc immerses the reader in the mind-boggling intricacies of the little-known ghetto world. She charts the tumultuous cycle of the generations, as girls become mothers, mothers become grandmothers, boys become criminals, and hope struggles against deprivation. Two romances thread through Random Family: the sexually charismatic nineteen-year-old Jessica's dizzying infatuation with a hugely successful young heroin dealer, Boy George, and fourteen-year-old Coco's first love with Jessica's little brother, Cesar, an aspiring thug. Fleeing from family problems, the young couples try to outrun their destinies. Chauffeurs whisk them to getaways in the Poconos and to nightclubs. They cruise the streets in Lamborghinis and customized James Bond cars. Jessica and Boy George ride the wild adventure between riches and ruin, while Coco and Cesar stick closer to the street, all four caught in a precarious dance between life and death. Friends get murdered; the DEA and FBI investigate Boy George's business activities; Cesar becomes a fugitive; Jessica and Coco endure homelessness, betrayal, the heartbreaking separation of prison, and throughout it all, the insidious damage of poverty. Together, then apart, the teenagers make family where they find it. Girls look for excitement and find trouble; boys, searching for adventure, join crews and prison gangs. Coco moves upstate to dodge the hazards of the Bronx; Jessica seeks solace in romance. Both find that love is the only place to go. A gifted prose stylist and a profoundly compassionate observer, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc has slipped behind the cold statistics and sensationalism surrounding inner-city life and come back with a riveting, haunting, and true urban soap opera that reveals the clenched grip of the streets. Random Family is a compulsive read and an important journalistic achievement, sure to take its place beside the classics of the genre.
At 55, Rae Padilla Francoeur had no idea that the most deeply fulfilling sexual relationship she'd ever encounter was still to come. In her memoir, Free Fall, Francoeur discloses her discovery of a new love after nearly two decades in a relationship that won't end, despite her need and desire to move on. Francoeur succumbs entirely to the intensely physical and stimulating relationship she finds with this new man—allowing her body and mind to truly embrace pleasure and sexual desire—and shares intimate details of a love affair that changes everything, leading her to celebrate her sexuality and rediscover herself. Free fall, Francoeur says, is a choice: Let go. Be here now. Open up to the possibilities. Choosing to let go is a tall order for a woman who's lived her life as a single parent, a loving and attentive mate to a man with bipolar disorder, and a creative director in a busy museum—but when she finally succeeds in choosing herself, she views life anew, sensitized by sexual desire and dramatic change. Her new lover says, "Everything is foreplay." With him, Francoeur learns to embrace her sexuality and the profound pleasure bodies bring, even as they age.
The recent economic rise of China and India has attracted a great deal of attention. Yet, many of the views regarding their market reforms and high growth have been tendentious, exaggerated, or oversimplified. Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay scrutinizes the phenomenal rise of both nations and demolishes the myths that have accumulated around the economic achievements of these two giants in the last quarter-century. Exploring the challenges that both countries must overcome to become true leaders in the international economy, Pranab Bardhan looks beyond short-run macroeconomic issues to examine structures, and current general performance. Full of valuable insights, Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay provides a nuanced picture of China and India's complex political economy at a time of startling global reconfiguration and change.
Devil in the Grove, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction, is a gripping true story of racism, murder, rape, and the law. It brings to light one of the most dramatic court cases in American history, and offers a rare and revealing portrait of Thurgood Marshall that the world has never seen before. As Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns did for the story of America’s black migration, Gilbert King’s Devil in the Grove does for this great untold story of American legal history, a dangerous and uncertain case from the days immediately before Brown v. Board of Education in which the young civil rights attorney Marshall risked his life to defend a boy slated for the electric chair—saving him, against all odds, from being sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit.
A native of Bombay, Suketu Mehta gives us an insider’s view of this stunning metropolis. He approaches the city from unexpected angles, taking us into the criminal underworld of rival Muslim and Hindu gangs, following the life of a bar dancer raised amid poverty and abuse, opening the door into the inner sanctums of Bollywood, and delving into the stories of the countless villagers who come in search of a better life and end up living on the sidewalks. As each individual story unfolds, Mehta also recounts his own efforts to make a home in Bombay after more than twenty years abroad. Candid, impassioned, funny, and heartrending, Maximum City is a revelation of an ancient and ever-changing world.
A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry’s stunning internationally acclaimed bestseller, is set in mid-1970s India. It tells the story of four unlikely people whose lives come together during a time of political turmoil soon after the government declares a “State of Internal Emergency.” Through days of bleakness and hope, their circumstances – and their fates – become inextricably linked in ways no one could have foreseen. Mistry’s prose is alive with enduring images and a cast of unforgettable characters. Written with compassion, humour, and insight, A Fine Balance is a vivid, richly textured, and powerful novel written by one of the most gifted writers of our time.
Naomi Benaron’s debut novel follows Rwandan Jean Patrick Nkuba, a Tutsi, from his earliest dreams of becoming his country’s first Olympic medal contender in track, to the moment when he finds himself facing a mob of killers, with no choice but to vault over a wall and run for his life. In the years preceding the genocide, Jean Patrick’s world becomes ever more violent and restrictive, spinning toward the inevitable moment when the killing begins and he must leave behind the woman and country he loves. Benaron interweaves Rwanda’s politics, the beauty of its landscape, and the yearning and dedication of Jean Patrick himself into a tremendously moving story of the country and the character’s unraveling and tentative new beginning.
This collection of essays on the characters and issues of American life features Kempton's best columns, reviews, and reportage
In this new edition of Janet Lewis’s classic short novel, The Wife of Martin Guerre, Swallow Press executive editor Kevin Haworth writes that Lewis’s story is “a short novel of astonishing depth and resonance, a sharply drawn historical tale that asks contemporary questions about identity and belonging, about men and women, and about an individual’s capacity to act within an inflexible system.” Originally published in 1941, The Wife of Martin Guerre has earned the respect and admiration of critics and readers for over sixty years. Based on a notorious trial in sixteenth-century France, this story of Bertrande de Rols is the first of three novels making up Lewis’s Cases of Circumstantial Evidence suite (the other two are The Trial of Sören Qvist and The Ghost of Monsieur Scarron). Swallow Press is delighted and honored to offer readers beautiful new editions of all three Cases of Circumstantial Evidence novels, each featuring a new introduction by Kevin Haworth.