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Pulitzer Prize Winner Katherine Boo Finds Hope in Lives of Indian Slum Dwellers

By Alizza Punzalan-Randle
Published October 10, 2013
Categories: Academics

Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo will speak about her New York Timesbestseller, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, on Wednesday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Fox Hall.Behind the Beautiful Forevers, recipient of the 2012 National Book Award for Nonfiction, is Boo’s first book.

This event is free and open to the public and is part of Eckerd’s Presidential Events Series themed The Human Experience: An Odyssey. Overflow seating and live streaming will be made available in Miller Auditorium.

Investigative journalist Katherine Boo spent more than three years in the Annawadi slum in one of the world’s great, unequal cities: Mumbai, India. Behind the Beautiful Forevers is her dramatic account of 21st-century India and the sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life.

Katherine Boo has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2003, focusing on issues of poverty, opportunity, social and economic policy, and education. A former reporter and editor for The Washington Post, she learned to report at the alternative weekly Washington City Paper, after which she worked as a writer and co-editor of The Washington Monthly magazine. She received a Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Columbia University. Over the years, her reporting from disadvantaged communities has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing.

As a result of Behind the Beautiful Forevers being an assigned summer reading for freshmen, Ms. Boo will be speaking to nearly 500 first-year students in their Human Experience course. Additionally, more than 450 seniors have read her book in the capstone Quest for Meaning course.

Katherine Boo’s visit is sponsored by the Class of 1968 Distinguished Visiting Scholar Endowment in partnership with the Col. Christian L. and Edna M. March International Relations Lecture Series and the Center for Spiritual Life Burchenal Lecture Series.

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