I read Behind the Beautiful Forevers and really wanted to like it, but I didn't agree with all the praise...Its well written, but it might be that I live in India so know a bit more on its realities than the obviously targeted US readers... but here is a quote from Economist
JOURNALISTS delight in metaphors that sum up an entire story with one striking image. In Mumbai, itself a neat nutshell of India's extremes, this image is served on a platter: the shiny towers that rise from a sprawl of squalid slums, the two inevitably “jostling for space” in globalising India. This picture is deployed for all sorts of stories, whether social, political or economic, and in any number of publications including this one.
Katherine Boo, a staff writer at the New Yorker and winner of the Pulitzer prize, has written about poverty for two decades. She is not immune to the power of this image of extremes. But instead of using it as a backdrop, her first book, “Behind the Beautiful Forevers”, makes the metaphor the story. Why, she wonders, is this juxtaposition of wealth and poverty considered a moral problem and not a practical one? How does it persist? “Why don't more of our unequal societies implode?”
review at http://www.economist.com/node/21547767
I've chosen South instead...