Reception immediately following in Paul Merage School of Business, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Book Signing 6:45-7:15 p.m.

RSVP online

Katherine Boo is an American investigative journalist who has documented the lives of people in poverty. She has won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service (2000), the MacArthur "genius" award (2002), and the National Book Award for Nonfiction (2012). She has been a staff writer for the New Yorker magazine since 2003. Her book Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity won nonfiction prizes from PEN, the Los Angeles Times Book Awards, the New York Public Library, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, in addition to the National Book Award for Nonfiction.

Career

Boo graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College of Columbia University. She worked at the Washington Post from 1993 to 2003, first as an editor of the Outlook section and then as an investigative reporter.

In 2000, her series for the Washington Post about group homes for intellectually disabled people won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The Pulitzer judges noted that her work "disclosed wretched neglect and abuse in the city's group homes for the intellectually disabled, which forced officials to acknowledge the conditions and begin reforms."

Later, she joined the The New Yorker, where her article, "The Marriage Cure," won the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing in 2004. The article chronicled state-sponsored efforts to teach poor people in an Oklahoma community about marriage in hopes that such classes would help their students avoid or escape poverty.

Another of Boo's New Yorker articles, "After Welfare", won the 2002 Sidney Hillman Award, which honors articles that advance the cause of social justice.

In 2002, Boo was a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. She won a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowship in 2002. In 2006, a Haniel Fellowship provided her with a half year of housing at the Hans Arnold Center, located at the American Academy in Berlin. She was also a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in 2010.

In 2012, Random House published Boo's first book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, a non-fiction account of life in the slums of Mumbai, India.

Awards, Praise And Reviews

Winner of:
 • The National Book Award
 • The Los Angeles Times Book Award
 • The American Academy of Arts & Letters Award in Literature 
• NYPL Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism
 • PEN/Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction 
• Book-of-the-Month Club New Visions Award
 • Oldie Travel Writer of the Year (UK)

Finalist for:
 • The Pulitzer Prize
 • National Book Critics Circle Award 
• Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award
 • The Dayton Literary Peace Prize
 • The Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award 
• The Duff Cooper Award (UK) 
• The Guardian First Book Award (UK) 
• The Samuel Johnson Prize (UK)

Named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by:
 • The New York Times Book Review
 • The Washington Post 
• O: The Oprah Magazine
 • USA Today 
• New York
 • The Miami Herald 
• San Francisco Chronicle 
• Newsday

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by: 
• The New Yorker
 • People
 • Entertainment Weekly
 • The Wall Street Journal 
• The Boston Globe 
• The Economist
 • Financial Times 
• Newsweek/The Daily Beast 
• Foreign Policy 
• The Seattle Times 
• The Nation
 • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 • The Denver Post 
• Minneapolis Star Tribune 
• Salon
 • The Plain Dealer
 • The Week 
• Kansas City Star
 • Slate 
• Time Out New York 
• Publishers Weekly

 

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