Born a Crime is a powerful memoir by South African comedian and late-night television host Trevor Noah. The book is an ode to the power of storytelling, how it shapes our lives, and how it can cut through even the most impenetrable of obstacles. In this memoir, Noah shares his journey from apartheid South Africa to “The Daily Show.” He begins by recounting the moment that changed his life forever: when his mother gave birth to him in a South African detention center while facing jail time for giving birth in secret during apartheid laws forbidding interracial marriage.
A memoir about race and the unknown journey toward a better self, Born a Crime is told through the eyes of a boy who grew up in South Africa alongside apartheid—a time of rigid racial laws and police brutality. Trevor’s improbable survival is rooted in the stories of the generations before him and after him, who suffered for their own freedom—and fought for his own today.
Born a Crime is the memoir of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Trevor Noah followed an unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show, where he has built an empire—and become one comedy’s most acclaimed voices on issues ranging from race to religion. This compelling and entertaining read provides a fascinating look into Trevor’s world as he navigates his fame and family life, his sense of humor and strong sense of self-worth even through all the challenges of navigating fame.
About Born a Crime Book
The memoir 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 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 is 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.