India observers, devotees of immersion journalism and lovers of good writing agree: New Yorker staffer Katherine Boo’s account of life in a Mumbai slum is the best book about India in decades. The New York Times says Behind the Beautiful Forevers reads ‘almost like a novel: a true-life version of Slumdog Millionaire without the Bollywood ending’. Others have compared it to Dickens and Dante, Capote and Orwell.
Katherine won a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting at the Washington Post in 2000. She spent four years reporting from India for Behind the Beautiful Forevers, immersed in the daily life of Annawadi, the slum she brings to life in the book.
‘Very little journalism is world changing,’ she has said. ‘But if change is to happen, it will be because people with power have a better sense of what’s happening to people who have none.’
Katherine will be joined in conversation by the Wheeler Centre’s senior writer/editor Jo Case.
Jo Case is the Program Manager at Melbourne Writers Festival. Before this, she was the Wheeler Centre’s senior writer/editor. Her first book, Boomer and Me: A memoir of motherhood, and Asperger’s is published by Hardie Grant in Australia and the UK.
Katherine Boo, a staff writer for the New Yorker, has spent the last 20 years reporting from within poor communities, considering how societies distribute opportunity and how individuals get out of poverty.