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
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
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.
Celebrated urban theorist Davis provides a global overview of the diverse religious, ethnic, and political movements competing for the souls of the new urban poor.
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 book that challenges the conventional notion of a slum. Spread over 175 hectares and swarming with one million people, Dharavi is often called 'Asia's largest slum'. But Dharavi is much more than cold statistic. What makes it special are the extraordinary people who live there, many of whom have defied fate and an unhelpful State to prosper through a mix of backbreaking work, some luck and a great deal of ingenuity. It is these men and women whom journalist Kalpana Sharma brings to life through a series of spellbinding stories. While recounting their tales, she also traces the history of Dharavi from the days when it was one of the six great koliwadas or fishing villages to the present times when it, along with other slums, is home to almost half of Mumbai. Among the colourful characters she presents are Haji Shamsuddin who came to Mumbai and began life as a rice smuggler but made his fortune by launching his own brand of peanut brittle; the stoic Ramjibhai Patel, a potter, who represents six generations from Saurashtra who have lived and worked in Mumbai; and doughty women like Khatija and Amina who helped check communal passions during the 1992-93 riots and continue to ensure that the rich social fabric of Dharavi is not frayed. It is countless, often anonymous, individuals like these who have helped Dharavi grow from a mere swamp to a virtual gold mine with its many industrial units churning out quality leather goods, garments and food products. Written with rare sensitivity and empathy, Rediscovering Dharavi is a riveting account of the triumph of the human spirit over poverty and want.
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.
This clearly written and engrossing book presents a global narrative of the origins of the modern world from 1400 to the present. Unlike most studies, which assume that the "rise of the West" is the story of the coming of the modern world, this history, drawing upon new scholarship on Asia, Africa, and the New World, constructs a story in which those parts of the world play major roles. Robert B. Marks defines the modern world as one marked by industry, the nation state, interstate warfare, a large and growing gap between the wealthiest and poorest parts of the world, and an escape from "the biological old regime." He explains its origins by emphasizing contingencies (such as the conquest of the New World); the broad comparability of the most advanced regions in China, India, and Europe; the reasons why England was able to escape from common ecological constraints facing all of those regions by the 18th century; and a conjuncture of human and natural forces that solidified a gap between the industrialized and non-industrialized parts of the world. Now in a new edition that brings the saga of the modern world to the present, the book considers how and why the United States emerged as a world power in the twentieth century and became the sole superpower by the twenty-first century. Once again arguing that the rise of the United States to global hegemon was contingent, not inevitable, Marks also points to the resurgence of Asia and the vastly changed relationship of humans to the environment that may, in the long run, overshadow any political and economic milestones of the past hundred years.
"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.