Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers has added the New York Public Library‘s 2013 Helen Bernstein Book Award to the list of prestigious prizes and accolades it has received. The non-fiction title about the lives of residents in the poor Indian neighborhood of Annawadi just outside Mumbai airport earned the 2012 National Book Award, was honored as a 2012 Barnes and Noble Discover Award runner-up, and was shortlisted for the 2013 Pulitzer and the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. Mediabistro quotes this snippet of Boo’s acceptance speech: “What this award symbolizes to me is that as a journalist working in the field, you have to report harder and work harder, until you make the American public give a damn. That’s what good writing with a capital ‘W’ is.”
Boo’s book edged past finalists Confront and Conceal by David Sanger, Little America: The War Within The War for Afghanistan by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Spillover by David Quammen and Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale by Tom Wilber for the win.