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Katherine Boo Wins the 2013 Helen Bernstein Book Award

Journalist and author Katherine Boo has won the New York Public Library’s 2013 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Behind The Beautiful Forevers.

The $15,000 award goes to “journalists whose books have brought clarity and public attention to important issues, events, or policies.” Boo had this comment as she received the award:

Consistently, the recipients of this award make the argument through their work that you can’t just complain or accept that the American public don’t give a damn about genocide in Rwanda or ruined lives in the inner city … 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. Over the years, the Library has honored some bad-ass women, and has always honored hard-core, fierce reporting.

The other finalists for the award were: Confront and Conceal by David SangerLittle America: The War Within The War for Afghanistan by Rajiv ChandrasekaranSpillover by David Quammen and Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale by Tom Wilber.

(Author photo by Sean Scanlin)

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