Behind the Beautiful Forevers Book Report

4. Book Report (10%)

You are required to write a review of Katherine Boo. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, using the Academic Integrity Code as guide.


A book review is an informed analysis and thoughtful commentary of the development issues that surface in the book “Behind the Beautiful Forevers”. It must demonstrate your ability to connect the topics analyzed in this course with the conditions faced by the residents of the slums in Mumbai.Explain in your own words why these topics or development challenges are more complex than they initially appear, and how they relate to the individuals and experiences described in Boo’s work.Then conclude your report by identifying what students, policymakers and practitioners can learn from the lives of the people in Mumbai slums. Also, what does the novel title mean, from a development perspective?

Be sure to cite the citations and references in your book review.The book review should be typewritten, double-spaced and with a maximum length of 4 (four) pages (in 12 inch font). It should be submitted in hard copy in class (no emails). Endnotes and list of references can be added and are outside the maximum length. Be sure to provide a complete citation of references if you use other materials in addition to the book.

The book review will be graded based on

  • student’s ability to integrate economic concepts/tools and class reading materials into his/her analysis of the issue(s) that resonate in the novel (40%)
  • clarity and logic of your analysis (20%)
  • organization and adherence to guidelines including citation of sources (20%)
  • writing skill and general appearance of the book review i.e. spelling, etc. (20%)
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