Katherine (Kate) J. Boo (born August 12, 1964) is an award-winning journalist and author known primarily for writing about poor and disadvantaged people in America, although her work has recently shifted to the slums of Mumbai, India.
Boo's family name is Swedish, an Americanized version of Bö. She grew up in and around Washington, D.C., where her parents, both Minnesotans, moved when her father became an aide to U. S. Representative Eugene McCarthy. Boo graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College of Columbia University.
Boo has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis since her teens. Boo is married to Sunil Khilnani, a professor of politics and the director of the India Institute at King's College London.
In 2000, her series for the Post about group homes for mentally retarded 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 mentally retarded, which forced officials to acknowledge the conditions and begin reforms."
In 2003, she joined the staff of The New Yorker, to which she had been contributing since 2001. One of her subsequent New Yorker articles, "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.
From 2002 through 2006, Boo was a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, a think tank that has been described as radical centrist in orientation. She won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2002. In 2006, a Haniel Fellowship provided her with a half year of housing at the Hans Arnold Center of the American Academy in Berlin.
In 2012, Boo published her first book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, a non-fiction account of life in the Annawadi slums of Mumbai, India. It won the National Book Award on November 14, 2012.
- 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service
- 2002 MacArthur Fellowship
- 2002 The Hillman Prize
- 2004 National Magazine Award for Feature Writing
- 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize, shortlist, Behind the Beautiful Forevers 
- 2012 National Book Award (Nonfiction), Behind the Beautiful Forevers 
- 2012 Columbia Journalism Award 
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. New York City: Random House (February 7, 2012). ISBN 978-1-4000-6755-8
- The 2000 Pulitzer Prize Winners, Public Service.
- "Katherine Boo: Contributors". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2003-08-18.
- "The Marriage Cure". The New Yorker. August 18, 2003.
- "After Welfare". The New Yorker. April 9, 2001. Retrieved Feb 10, 2012.
- "After Welfare". The Hillman Foundation. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
- "Katherine Boo". NewAmerica.net. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
- Morin, Richard; Deane, Claudia (10 December 2001). "Big Thinker. Ted Halstead’s New America Foundation Has It All: Money, Brains and Buzz". The Washington Post, Style section, p. 1.
- "MacArthur Fellows, September 2002". John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
- "Applications". American Academy in Berlin. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
- "Katherine Boo - Haniel Fellow, Class of Spring 2007". American Academy in Berlin. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
- Maslin, Janet (30 January 2012). "All They Hope for Is Survival". New York Times. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- Leslie Kaufman (November 14, 2012). "Novel About Racial Injustice Wins National Book Award". New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- Alison Flood (5 October 2012). "Six books to 'change our view of the world' on shortlist for non-fiction prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- "The Craft of Writing: Katherine Boo", NPR, JENNIFER LUDDEN, October 16, 2004
- "Katherine Boo: Reporting Across the Income Gap", Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism
- "Boo's Clues", slate, Mickey Kaus, May 18, 2001
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Book's website
- NPR-Fresh Air Interview Feb. 8, 2012