Behind the beautiful forevers is a non-fiction book published in 2012 and written by the American writer Katherine Boo. The full title of the book is The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity and it is set in in a Mumbai slum named Annawadi in the year 2008. The book was received in a positive way and it was awarded the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2012.
In the novel, Katherine Boo analyzed the life of the poor in the Mumbai slum and in fact she is known for her work as a journalist investigating the conditions in which the poor and the disabled lived. Boo was able to experience firsthand the conditions in which the poor lived in Mumbai since she spent a few years in India with her husband.
The main characters in the book are Abdul, a garbage sorter, Asha, a woman who dreams to one day become a slumlord and Sunil, a small boy who searches for garbage and who rarely has enough food to eat. All the characters in the book tries to survive in a cruel world that wants to shut them out and keep them separated from the relatively clean and developed world that lies behind a wall separating the slum from the outside world. The slum is always threatened to be demolished and so the residents of the slum always live fearing what will happen to them and their few belongings.
The book was received positively by the general public and was even adapted into a play shortly after it was published. The book is important because it shows how hard the life is in the slums for those living there and the lengths to which they have to go to survive.