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Hearty congratulations go out to former City Paper staffer Katherine Boo, one of the newest winners of the prestigious National Book Award.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity, a product of the three years she spent reporting on a makeshift settlement near the Mumbai airport, won the prize for nonfiction last night.

Boo is no stranger to winning awards, though: Her series of articles for the Washington Post about the abuse and neglect of the mentally handicapped residents of D.C. group homes was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2000.

Boo was a City Paper staff writer from 1989 to 1990.