Katherine Boo

Katherine Boo


Born
in Washington, D.C., The United States
August 12, 1964

Genre


Katherine (Kate) J. Boo is a staff writer at The New Yorker and 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. 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. For the last decade, she has divided her time between the United States and India, the birthplace of her husband, Sunil Khilnani. Her first book "Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity" was published in 2012.

Average rating: 3.97 · 84,249 ratings · 9,814 reviews · 3 distinct worksSimilar authors
Behind the Beautiful Foreve...

3.97 avg rating — 84,231 ratings — published 2012 — 64 editions
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i once was lost

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Interviews

February 2012, Katherine Boo
"Her Favorite Books About Inequality: The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist reports on poverty in Behind the Beautiful Forevers and offers her top reads on the subject." ...More

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“Much of what was said did not matter, and that much of what mattered could not be said.”
Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

“What you don't want is always going to be with you
What you want is never going to be with you
Where you don't want to go, you have to go
And the moment you think you're going to live more, you're going to die”
Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

“It seemed to him that in Annawadi, fortunes derived not just from what people did, or how well they did it, but from the accidents and catastrophes they dodged. A decent life was the train that hadn’t hit you, the slumlord you hadn’t offended, the malaria you hadn’t caught.”
Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

Polls

79756
What should we read first?

For more info on each of these, look to the "This Poll Is About" section below the Answers.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn

On the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick's wife Amy disappears. There are signs of struggle in the house and Nick quickly becomes the prime suspect. It doesn't help that Nick hasn't been completely honest with the police and, as Amy's case drags out for weeks, more and more vilifying evidence appears against him. Nick, however, maintains his innocence. Told from alternating points of view between Nick and Amy, Gillian Flynn creates an untrustworthy world that changes chapter-to-chapter. Calling Gone Girl a psychological thriller is an understatement. As revelation after revelation unfolds, it becomes clear that the truth does not exist in the middle of Nick and Amy's points of view; in fact, the truth is far more dark, more twisted, and more creepy than you can imagine. Gone Girl is masterfully plotted from start to finish and the suspense doesn't waver for one page. It's one of those books you will feel the need to discuss immediately after finishing because the ending doesn't just come; it punches you in the gut.
 
  5 votes 35.7%

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon

Telegraph Avenue

Michael Chabon

“Telegraph Avenue,” Michael Chabon’s rich, comic new novel, is a homage to an actual place: the boulevard in Northern California where Oakland — historically an African-American city — aligns with Berkeley, whose bourgeois white inhabitants are, as one character puts it, “liable to invest all their hope of heaven in the taste of an egg laid in the backyard by a heritage-breed chicken.” The novel is equally a tribute to the cinematic style of Quentin Tarantino, whose films its characters study and discuss, and whose preoccupations pepper its pages: kung fu, cinematic allusions and the blaxploitation films of the 1970s; and an interest in African-American characters and experience. Chabon and Tarantino make an unlikely duo; while the latter’s films tend toward gaudy eruptions of violence, Chabon bends Tarantino’s sensibility to a warmhearted novel about fatherhood in which the onstage violence consists of two graphic childbirth scenes and a 15-year-old boy whacking a chubby thug with a wooden sword. A self-help book in the style of Andrei Tarkovsky would be hardly more oxymoronic.

 
  4 votes 28.6%

To Sell Is Human The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

Daniel H. Pink

To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. As he did in Drive and A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink draws on a rich trove of social science for his counterintuitive insights. He reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it's no longer "Always Be Closing"), explains why extraverts don't make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an "off-ramp" for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds.

Along the way, Pink describes the six successors to the elevator pitch, the three rules for understanding another's perspective, the five frames that can make your message clearer and more persuasive, and much more. The result is a perceptive and practical book--one that will change how you see the world and transform what you do at work, at school, and at home.

 
  2 votes 14.3%

The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft

The Call of Cthulhu

H.P. Lovecraft

An American author of horror, fantasy, and science fiction (crucial in the development of the sub-genre, weird fiction). The Call of Cthulu, the tale of a horrifying underwater monster coming to life and threatening mankind, is H.P. Lovecraft's most famous and most widely popular tale, spawning an entire mythology, with the power to strike terror into the hearts of even the Great Old Ones.
Lovecraft's guiding aesthetic and philosophical principle was what he termed "cosmicism" or "cosmic horror", the idea that life is incomprehensible to human minds and that the universe is fundamentally inimical to the interests of humankind. As such, his stories express a profound indifference to human beliefs and affairs.

He is now regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. According to Joyce Carol Oates, an award-winning author, Lovecraft—as with Edgar Allan Poe in the 19th century—has exerted "an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction".The popular science fiction and fantasy author Stephen King called Lovecraft "the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale." King made it clear in his semi-autobiographical non-fiction book Danse Macabre that Lovecraft was responsible for King's own fascination with horror and the macabre, and was the single largest figure to influence his fiction writing.

 
  1 vote 7.1%

Party Monster A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland by James St. James

Party Monster: A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland

James St. James

"Disco Bloodbath" is a dazzling, dizzying, amazingly vivid, and startlingly fresh look at a subculture that for several years pranced its hedonistic way across the dance floors of New York City's trendiest clubs. It is also perhaps the funniest book about a murder you will ever read. Like its author, who experienced it all and has lived to tell the tale, it's a true original.

When self-proclaimed king of club kids and party promoter extraordinaire Michael Alig was convicted in November 1996 of killing a drug dealer known as Angel, a spotlight was trained on a world few people even knew existed. Author James St. James knew that world, of course; in fact, he was one of its creators. He also knew the rules, knew them inside out, because he helped write them. And while it was a life and a lifestyle in which just about anything was acceptable so long as it wasn't boring, murder was considered a no-no. So when Alig confessed his part in the crime to St. James, our author knew that there could be no going back -- and that this time the party really was over.

 
  1 vote 7.1%

Mathilda Savitch by Victor Lodato

Mathilda Savitch

Victor Lodato

Fear doesn’t come naturally to Mathilda Savitch. She prefers to look right at the things nobody else can bring themselves to mention: for example, the fact that her beloved older sister is dead, pushed in front of a train by a man still on the loose. Her grief-stricken parents have basically been sleepwalking ever since, and it is Mathilda’s sworn mission to shock them back to life. Her strategy? Being bad.

Mathilda decides she’s going to figure out what lies behind the catastrophe. She starts sleuthing through her sister’s most secret possessions—e-mails, clothes, notebooks, whatever her determination and craftiness can ferret out. More troubling, she begins to apply some of her older sister’s magical charisma and powers of seduction to the unraveling situations around her. In a storyline that thrums with hints of ancient myth, Mathilda has to risk a great deal—in fact, has to leave behind everything she loves—in order to discover the truth.

 
  1 vote 7.1%

Behind the Beautiful Forevers Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

Katherine Boo

Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting“ in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter—Annawadi’s “most-everything girl“—will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call “the full enjoy.”

But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.

 
  0 votes 0.0%

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of Pi

Yann Martel

Life of Pi is a masterful and utterly original novel that is at once the story of a young castaway who faces immeasurable hardships on the high seas, and a meditation on religion, faith, art and life that is as witty as it is profound. Using the threads of all of our best stories, Yann Martel has woven a glorious spiritual adventure that makes us question what it means to be alive, and to believe.

 
  0 votes 0.0%

14 total votes
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