Katherine Boo is an internationally celebrated journalist on a quest to amplify the voices of underprivileged populations. Boo’s latest work explores social mobility in low-income families, drawing on years of intimate reporting in African-American neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.
A contributing writer for The New Yorker and a former reporter and editor for the Washington Post, Boo began her journalism career at the alternative weekly Washington City Paper, after which she worked as a writer and co-editor of Washington Monthly magazine. Over the years, Boo’s reporting from disadvantaged communities in the United States and abroad has earned her a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur Genius Grant, and a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing.
Boo is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Behind the Beautiful Forevers, which was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize and was adapted for the stage by the National Theatre. A landmark work of narrative nonfiction, it tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in Mumbai, one of the world’s great unequal cities. In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, Boo illuminates a bewildering age of global change and inequality. Behind the Beautiful Forevers was one of 10 books President Obama recommended for future world leaders.
The Q&A for this event will be moderated by Nina Shapiro. Nina Shapiro is a prize-winning reporter at The Seattle Times. She writes widely about social issues, including the impact of the Trump administration on immigrants, gentrification amid the region’s development boom, medical treatment for transgender teens, and discrimination in business and religion. She previously served as a senior writer at Seattle Weekly, covering everything from education to criminal justice reform to the culture around childbirth. She has also worked for publications in New York, New Jersey and southern Africa, where she lived for two years and returned in 2016 to write about HIV research.