Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Hardcover)
While I miss Jon Stewart, I’m enjoying the foreigner’s perspective that Trevor Noah brings to The Daily Show. Growing up in South Africa during apartheid meant that Noah’s very existence—the son of a white man and a black woman—was a crime. Poignant and hilarious, often at the same time, this memoir charts his life from childhood, offering insight into the life of the man behind the desk.— Flannery
Noah's perspective of growing up in South Africa during apartheid while being the son of a black woman and white man, while mixed with his trademark humor, was insightful and poignant. We in the US are often presented with what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has termed "the danger of the single story" where we are told history from the point of view of the oppressors and it was refreshing to see history from someone directly affected by the heinousness of the apartheid laws.— Karena
December 2016 Indie Next List
“Noah's perspective of growing up as the son of a black woman and white man in South Africa during apartheid, mixed with his trademark humor, is both insightful and poignant. We in the U.S. are often presented with what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has termed 'the danger of the single story,' which depicts history only from the point of view of the oppressors. It is refreshing and enlightening to learn history from someone directly affected by the heinousness of the apartheid laws.”
— Karena Fagan (E), Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man's coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Michiko Kakutani, New York Times - Newsday - Esquire - NPR - Booklist
Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.
Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother--his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.
The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother's unconventional, unconditional love.
Praise for Born a Crime
" A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, Trevor Noah's] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah's family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author's remarkable mother."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
" An] unforgettable memoir."--Parade
"What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her--and an enormous gift to the rest of us."--USA Today
" Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar."--People
" Noah's] electrifying memoir sparkles with funny stories . . . and his candid and compassionate essays deepen our perception of the complexities of race, gender, and class."--Booklist (starred review)
"A gritty memoir . . . studded with insight and provocative social criticism . . . with flashes of brilliant storytelling and acute observations."--Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Trevor Noah is a comedian from South Africa. From the eBook edition.