“Born a Crime” Review


South African comedian and host of “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah writes about his life as a biracial child under apartheid in South Africa in his biography. Born to a Swiss-German father and Xhosa mother, Noah depicts his struggle to fit in as ‘a crime,’ which bore the title “Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood,” a #1 New York Times Best Seller.

Given that the birth of a mixed child was illegal at that time, Noah was raised by his mother and spent a large amount of time indoors, in addition to attending church. When not losing himself in various books, he was caught up in more mischievous hobbies like playing with fire and running off with his mother’s money which was intended to purchase groceries, to instead play his favorite arcade games. As apartheid was finally being lifted, Noah and his mother embarked on meaningful adventures, breaking the barriers that were once there and celebrating the hardships they overcame together with love, laughter and faith.

The book functions as a vehicle of apartheid education and readers become more aware about the affect apartheid had on millions of lives. At the same time, we learn about how Noah grew up into the person he is today. He talks about adjusting to the environment he grew up in, the troubles he faced, his feelings and thoughts and simply navigating his way through life. This book is the perfect combination of humor, sadness and joy. In addition to being a deep and thoughtful memoir, the book can easily be classified as a tribute to his mother, who has been his best friend, mentor and role model for his entire life.

I completely agree with my mom – who recommended the book to me – when she says it’s incredibly powerful and brilliant. This book is a perfect read for anyone who wants to read a tender novel that is composed of funny, gritty and sometimes relatable stories which are beautifully written and narrated light-heartedly.