Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity was written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American investigative journalist, Katheirne Boo. This book is a documentary of the writer’s experiences in a Mumbai slum called Annawadi between November 2007 and March 2011. The story in this book primarily focuses on three main families. Abdul, belonging to one of these families is an expert in shifting garbage from one place to another.
One Leg, a cripple living in Annawadi, has sexual desires that can’t be fulfilled by her husband. Another important chracter in this book is Asha, a political worker belonging to the Shiv Sena party. She is the most ambitious person in the book, and hopes to become a slumlord one day by treading the tried-and-tested path of political corruption.
In Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity, though the characters all belong to an impoverished background, they still share the common emotion of hope. Hope is the only thing that keeps them from falling apart in their bleak existence. This book portrays how poor people are alienated into staying poor all their lives by the richer sections of society, from whom they barely recieve any help.
For the people living in Annawadi, earning enough money to become a part of the middle-class is a grand dream that most cant acheive. This book portrays the story of how Abdul the garbage shifter is falsely implicated in the murder of his neighbour, Fatima. Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity is a compelling depiction of real-life people living in an impverished Mumbai slum.
This book was published by Penguin India in 2013, and is available in the form of a paperback.