National Book Award Winner: Katherine Boo

By Wittmann, Lucas | Newsweek, December 3, 2012 | Go to article overview

National Book Award Winner: Katherine Boo


Wittmann, Lucas, Newsweek


Byline: Lucas Wittmann

A descent into the Mumbai slums climbs to literary heights.

The whole story is improbable: a blonde American woman heads off to one of India's direst slums. Sure, she's a staff writer for The New Yorker, and she's spent years writing brilliantly about poverty in the United States, but once she arrives in India she embeds in the community of Annawadi, a slum exactly as you picture it (hovels made of plastic, a sewage lake, missing limbs) in the shadow of the Mumbai international airport's glistening hotels. Many of the residents live off the trash tossed out by tourists and the multinational companies who cater to them. In short, these people are the bottom dwellers, the scavengers, the scrappers. But a funny thing happens when you spend nearly four years at the bottom. You see them as people. You see how their stories, despite the details of filth and stink and crime, are really not so different from ours. And then, if you're Katherine Boo, you write one of the most gut-wrenching, perfectly measured accounts of the human struggle that most people will ever read. Then the story gets even more improbable: the book is released to euphoric reviews, sells more than 200,000 copies (and counting), and wins the National Book Award for Nonfiction.

But what first drew her into these slums? Reached by email after her prize, Boo explained, "I'd been reporting for 15 years in low-income U.S. communities before I met my husband, Sunil Khilnani, who is Indian. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

National Book Award Winner: Katherine Boo
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.