Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood


ISBN10: 0399588175 ISBN13: 9780399588174 Random House Publishing Group
Price: $ 15.75 Nonfiction More Sellers
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Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

iDreamBooks' Rating: 81% (Read Reviews)

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 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.Advance praise for Born a Crime"[A] substantial collection of staggering personal essays . . . Incisive, funny, and vivid, these true tales are anchored to his portrait of his courageous, rebellious, and religious mother who defied racially restrictive laws to secure an education and a career for herself--and to have a child with a white Swiss/German even though sex between whites and blacks was illegal. . . . [Trevor 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 ReviewsFrom the Hardcover edition.


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NY Times: Positive
In the end, “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...
Globe and Mail: Positive
Born a Crime, among other things, is a gritty love letter to his mother – a loving mother who survived a bullet to the back of the head from Noah’s stepfather. You’ll have to read the book to learn about that drama.
National Post arts: Positive
By turns alarming, sad and funny, his book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid and the country’s lurching entry into a post-apartheid era in the 1990s.
Entertainment Weekly: Positive
In other words, this isn’t one of those comedian-penned essay collections where the yuks jump out at sitcom speeds. Yet there’s still plenty of humor; Noah proves to be a gifted storyteller, able to deftly lace his poignant tales with amusing irony.
Christian Science Monitor: Positive
...rollicking yet tender Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, provides further indication that Noah’s is a necessary voice for these times. In addition to that, it’s a great read.