Katherine Boo Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 88 Katherine Boo Quotes

#1. People talk about places like Mumbai as a tale of two cities, as if the rich and poor don't have anything to do with each other. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#2. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Never trust anyone who tells you how people come to trust him. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#3. It made sense to Abdul that in a polyglot city, people would sort themselves as he sorted his garbage, like with like. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#4. In the age of globalization - an ad hoc, temp-job, fiercely competitive age - hope is not a fiction. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#5. The forces of justice had finally come to Annawadi. That the beneficiaries were horses was a source of bemusement to Sunil and the road boys. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#6. To Annawadians, a difficult-to-raze house increased the odds that a family's tenure on airport land would be acknowledged by the relocation authorities. And so they put their money into what would be destroyed. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#7. If the house is crooked and crumbling, and the land on which it sits uneven, is it possible to make anything lie straight? - Author: Katherine Boo
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#8. Sunil rarely got angry when he discovered the secret reasons behind the ways people behaved. Having a sense of how the world operated, beyond its pretense, seemed to him an armoring thing. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#9. Taking his cup, the soldier had stared at her for a long moment and said, 'Don't stand in the sun-- you'll get too dark" (141). - Author: Katherine Boo
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#10. When your work is nonfiction about low-income communities, pretty much anything that's not nonfiction about low-income communities feels like a guilty pleasure. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#11. Besides, this was the gentle-going hour in which he hated Annawadi least. The pale sun lent the sewage lake a sparkling silver cast, and the parrots nesting at the far side of the lake could still be heard over the jets. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#12. It seemed to him that in Annawadi, fortunes derived not just from what people did, or how well they did it, but from the accidents and catastrophes they dodged. A decent life was the train that hadn't hit you, the slumlord you hadn't offended, the malaria you hadn't caught. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#13. I have been dealing with illness and its manifestations since I was a teenager, and I think that gives me a very healthy respect for the things in life we can't control. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#14. Still, Kasab seemed lucky to Abdul. "They will probably beat him lots in the jail," Abdul said one day, "but at least Kasab knows in his heart that he did what they said he did." That had to be less stressful than being beaten when you were innocent. The - Author: Katherine Boo
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#15. Avoid trouble. This was the operating principle of Abdul Hakim Husain, an idea so fiercely held that it seemed imprinted on his physical form. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#16. Abdul knew this Gandhi as the one who cared for poor people, who liked Muslims as well as Hindus, who took on the British and made India free. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#17. Ghosts of women are the worst. Years go by and they don't leave you be - Author: Katherine Boo
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#18. Water and ice were made of the same thing. He thought most people were made of the same thing, too. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#19. We often have an exaggerated sense of what nonprofits and governments are doing to help the poor, but the really inspiring thing is how much the poor are doing to help themselves. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#20. Though every community is different, my personal rule is pretty much the same: It's O.K. to feel like an idiot going in as long as you don't sound like an idiot coming out. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#21. Everyone is Annawadi talks like this- oh, I will make my child a doctor, a lawyer, and he will make us rich. It's vanity, nothing more. Your little boat goes west and you congratulate yourself, "What a navigator I am!" And then the wind blows you east. -ABDUL'S FATHER, KARAM HUSAIN - Author: Katherine Boo
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#22. Asha grasped many of her own contradictions, among them that you could be proud of having spared your offspring hardship while also resenting them for having been spared. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#23. Like most people in the slum, and in the world, for that matter, he believed his own dreams properly aligned to his capacities. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#24. Much of what was said did not matter, and that much of what mattered could not be said. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#25. I think it's this congenital problem with journalism that we oversell the difference we make. We make small differences. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#26. Being terrorized by living people seemed to have diminished his fear of the dead - Author: Katherine Boo
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#27. To be poor in Annawadi, or in any Mumbai slum, was to be guilty of one thing or another. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#28. stayed friends because they could keep each other's secrets. Now, - Author: Katherine Boo
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#29. But if writing about people who are not yourself is illegitimate, then the only legitimate work is autobiography; and as a reader and a citizen, I don't want to live in that world. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#30. We talk a lot about infrastructure in cities, and it's talking about highways and it's talking about trains, but I think more important to people who are low income is, how do I get from here to there? How do I become part of the affluence that's surrounding me? - Author: Katherine Boo
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#31. In Delhi, politicians and intellectuals privately bemoaned the "irrationality" of the uneducated Indian masses, but when the government itself provided false answers to its citizens' urgent concerns, rumor and conspiracy took wing. Sometimes, the conspiracies became a consolation for loss. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#32. Like most young Annawadians, the girls considered the caste obsession of their elders to be an irrelevant artifact. Manju and Meena had become friends because they both loved to dance, and stayed friends because they could keep each other's secrets. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#33. In America and Europe, it was said, people know what is going to happen when they turn on the water tap or flick on the light switch. In India, a land of few safe assumptions, chronic uncertainty was said to have helped produce a nation of quick-witted, creative problem-solvers. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#34. Because her boils had erupted - Author: Katherine Boo
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#35. In his first weeks back home, scavenging skills rusty, he took the sandals from the feet of his sleeping father and sold them to Abdul for food. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#36. But as he'd learned in the police station, being damaged was nothing like being dead. One - Author: Katherine Boo
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#37. For myself, suffering doesnt make me a good person; it makes me selfish. Why do we think that people who have less should find it edifying? - Author: Katherine Boo
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#38. In any country, corruption tends to increase when more respectable means of social advancement break down. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#39. I tell Allah I love Him immensely, immensely. But I tell Him I cannot be better, because of how the world is. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#40. I'm not squeamish. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#41. The age of global market capitalism, hopes and grievances were narrowly conceived, which blunted a sense of common predicament. Poor people didn't unite; they competed ferociously amongst themselves for gains as slender as they were provisional. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#42. She was simply Asha, a woman on her own. Had the situation been otherwise, she might not have come to know her own brain. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#43. He wanted to be better than what he was made of. In Mumbai's dirty water, he wanted to be ice ... He wanted to be recognized as better than the dirty water in which he lived. He wanted a verdict of ice. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#44. In India, a land of few safe assumptions, chronic uncertainty was said to have helped produce a nation of quick-witted, creative problem-solvers. Among - Author: Katherine Boo
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#45. Your little boat goes west and you congratulate yourself, "What a navigator I am!" And then the wind blows you east. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#46. But for the poor of a country where corruption thieved a great deal of opportunity, corruption was one of the genuine opportunities that remained. As - Author: Katherine Boo
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#47. The astonishing thing is that some people are good, and that many others try to be. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#48. One thing that was very clear to me is that the young people in a place like Annawadi aren't tripping on caste the way their parents are. They know their parents have these old views. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#49. The effect of corruption I find most underacknowledged is a contraction not of economic possibility but of our moral universe. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#50. Better arguments, maybe even better policies, get formulated when we know more about ordinary lives. While - Author: Katherine Boo
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#51. Escape the situation if you know you're going to be miserable. But I would kill myself by eating poison, not by burning. If you burned yourself, the last memory people would have of you is with your skin all spoiled and scary. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#52. He felt his mother hadn't prepared him for what it felt like, falling alone. Which - Author: Katherine Boo
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#53. An awkward, uneducated boy might still be capable of righteousness: He intended to remember this and every other truth The Master spoke. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#54. As every slumdweller knew, there were three main ways out of poverty: finding an entrepreneurial niche, as the Husains had found in garbage; politics and corruption, in which Asha placed her hopes; and education. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#55. It is easy, from a safe distance, to overlook the fact that in undercities governed by corruption, where exhausted people vie on scant terrain for very little, it is blisteringly hard to be good. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#56. That the only Indians who went on trial were - Author: Katherine Boo
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#57. Becoming attached to a country involves pressing, uncomfortable questions about justice and opportunity for its least powerful citizens. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#58. The Indian criminal justice system was a market like garbage, Abdul now understood. Innocence and guilt could be bought and sold like a kilo of polyurethane bags. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#59. When they learned that a family in the slum was making money, they visited every other day to extort some. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#60. What you don't want is always going to be with you
What you want is never going to be with you
Where you don't want to go, you have to go
And the moment you think you're going to live more, you're going to die - Author: Katherine Boo
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#61. Abdul rose with minimal whining, since the only whining his mother tolerated was her own. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#62. People naturally long for a bit of the wealth that is whorling all around them, and if the work and education available to them won't get them closer to the comforts that they see others enjoying, the temptation to take shortcuts can be fierce. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#63. He knew why he and the other children received ice cream only when newspaper photographers came to visit, and why food and clothing donated for the children got furtively resold outside the orphanage gate. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#64. Asha believed a person seeking betterment should try as many schemes as possible, since it was hard to predict which one might work. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#65. As Abdul and his family had already learned, the police station was not a place where victimhood was redressed and public safety held dear. It was a hectic bazaar, like many other public institutions in Mumbai, and investigating Kalu's death was not a profit-generating enterprise. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#66. Everything around us is roses, and we're the shit in between. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#67. A great deal of what is presumed to be intractable or inevitable in this world doesn't strike me that way at all. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#68. The lyrics, in English, were meaningless to him, the bass line irresistible. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#69. Much of her outrage derived from a belated recognition that she was as human as anyone else. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#70. Where Old India and New India collide making New India - Author: Katherine Boo
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#71. Midnight was closing in, the one-legged woman was grievously burned, and the Mumbai police were coming for Abdul and his father. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#72. A girl could be virtuous without being perfect. Back - Author: Katherine Boo
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#73. Rich people's garbage was every year more complex, rife with hybrid materials, impurities, impostors. Planks that looked like wood were shot through with plastic. How was he to classify a loofah? The owners of the recycling plants demanded waste that was all one thing, pure. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#74. Only in the hours when the men came - husband at work, daughters at school - did the part of her body she had to offer feel more important than the part of it she lacked. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#75. And now out onto Airport Road and into the city's horn-honk opera. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#76. You think your work is dreaming? - Author: Katherine Boo
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#77. I grew up in a second when my mother died," he told Sunil. "My father and brother didn't understand me. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#78. Fatima's hair, what was left of it, had pulled free of the coil into which she'd put it before striking the match. Her face was now black and shiny, as if an artist commissioned to lacquer the eyes of a statue of - Author: Katherine Boo
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#79. Don't correct me, you don't have any rights over me." "What kind of life is this? So I sit at home , entirely dependent on this man, and then it turns out his heart was never with me. How is it possible to force someone to love me? - Author: Katherine Boo
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#80. At the heart of her bad nature, like many bad natures, was probably envy. And at the heart of envy was possibly hope - that the good fortune of others might one day be hers - Author: Katherine Boo
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#81. He wanted to go home to the place that he hated. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#82. He thought it better to start the day by acknowledging that it was going to be just as dull as the days preceding it. That way, you wouldn't be disappointed. Abdul - Author: Katherine Boo
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#83. So do I have to teach you all over again how to make the rotis round?" Asha teased her daughter, merrily holding one of them up. "Come on! Who will marry you when you make such ridiculous bread?" The - Author: Katherine Boo
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#84. The better I know you, the more I will dislike you, and the more you will dislike me. So let us keep to ourselves. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#85. My job is to lay it out clearly, not to give my policy prescriptions.Very little journalism is world changing. But if change is to happen, it will be because people with power have a better sense of what's happening to people who have none. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#86. She had seen behind the obvious truth
that Mumbai was a hive of hope and ambition
to a profitable corollary. Mumbai was a place of festering grievance and ambient envy. Was there a soul in this enriching, unequal city who didn't blame his dissatisfaction on someone else? - Author: Katherine Boo
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#87. I'm useless when I meet writers I love - I go slack-jawed and stupid with awe. - Author: Katherine Boo
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#88. When I'm engaged in a story my health is not a big deal, but when I'm not doing anything, if you sit me down, I can get tied up in my own medical dramas. So I much prefer to work. - Author: Katherine Boo
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