Katherine Boo   The Craft of Writing:

  Katherine Boo, 2004 National Public Radio

All Things Considered, October 16, 2004 · Katherine Boo's intimate and powerful reporting has garnered multiple awards, among them, a Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur Genius Grant. Most recently, the American Society of Magazine Editors selected her 2003 New Yorker story "The Marriage Cure" as this year's winner for "Best Feature Magazine Writing." A chronicle of life in an Oklahoma housing project, "The Marriage Cure" follows two women enrolled in a federally funded initiative to promote marriage among the poor.

Quiet with a slight figure, Boo says her reporting method is to become invisible -- to fade into the background and let life happen as she writes it down. Boo speaks with NPR's Jennifer Ludden in the first of a series of interviews with some of this year's National Magazine Award Winners.

Katherine Boo has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2003 and a contributor since April, 2001. Her articles include an intimate portrait of a former welfare mother in Washington D.C., an examination of the consequences of the loss of manufacturing jobs in Cameron County, Texas, and “The Marriage Cure,” on marriage seminars for the poor in Oklahoma City, which was awarded a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing in 2004.

Before joining The New Yorker, Boo was a writer and editor for the Washington Post, where for a decade she was a member of the Outlook and Investigative staffs. She has also written for the Washington City Paper and The Washington Monthly. In 2000, she received the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, and in 2003 she was awarded a MacArthur fellowship to recognize and further her body of work on America’s aspiration-rich working poor.

Katherine Boo is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank on public policy. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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