Born a Crime

by Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah is known for his witty humour, satirical social commentary and all round nice guy persona. However, I contend that his memoir ‘Born a Crime’ is one of the best autobiographical pieces of writing you will ever read. Not only did I finish this book in a matter of days, I completely connected with each chapter despite one; not being South African and two, not being a 37 year old South African man. Set against a backdrop of a deeply racist, divided South Africa, Noah depicts the damaging effects of apartheid on one’s identity, family and mindset. Though, what separates Noah from other writers is that he has the ability to relay quite tragic events in his life in such a funny way. The book has you laughing, crying and smiling all at the same time, above all wishing you could have an interview with him just to hear if all the stories are true. The collection of 18 personal entries reveals a story about a young boy navigating the challenges of life with his strong, religious mother as his guide. The seamless interweaving of the socio-political landscape and the effect this has on his life manages to capture the hope of a South Africa newly freed and the stark reality of its impact on ones daily life. Ultimately, if you are looking for a quick read that can make you reflect, laugh and witness the impact of positive change in a country, this book is for you.

Nicole Jean-Louis

Rating: 5 Recommend