#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 – USA Today – San Francisco Chronicle – NPR – Esquire – Newsday – 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.
I read a paperback copy
What an amazing, entertaining, educational and thought provoking memoir! I love watching Trevor Noah on The Daily Show and was not at all disappointed by his written storytelling. His mother is lovingly described by him as the most amazing woman and this book reads like a love story dedicated to her. The details of his childhood in South Africa as a mixed race child, literally ‘Born a crime’ to a white father and black mother at the end of apartheid are so well described you can visualize every episode and imagine Trevor and his unconventional mother going about their daily business. Thankfully he managed to survive an almost unbelievable number of difficulties and dangers and build himself an empire pirating CDs and then later DJing as an entrepreneurial teenager. There are some hilarious escapades described, which benefit from Trevor’s dry wit and storytelling prowess.
His mother’s religious fervor is a theme throughout the book and although you feel that Trevor does not share her dedication, by the end of the book it is possible that due to the circumstances, Trevor has begun to believe in miracles. I would recommend this book to all ages and was interested to hear that some schools are setting it as a 7th grade set book. My 7th grader will be encouraged to read my copy after his 10th grade sister has finished it.
Buy it Here:
Add it to your To Be Read list here:
About the author
Trevor Noah is the most successful comedian in Africa and is the host of the Emmy® and Peabody® Award-winning “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central. Under Trevor, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” has broken free from the restraints of a 30-minute linear show, producing engaging social content, award-winning digital series, podcasts and more for its global audience. In 2020, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” received eight Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Variety Talk Series and Outstanding Writing for A Variety Series. Trevor also received NAACP Image Award nominations for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Host in a Talk or News/Information (Series or Special). “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” also received Webby Awards for Best in Comedy and Best Web Personality/Host, as well as a NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Talk Series. Trevor originally joined “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in 2014 as a contributor.
In 2019, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” received two Primetime Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Variety Talk Series and Outstanding Interactive Program. Additionally, Trevor received the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series, as well as nominations for Outstanding Talk Series, Outstanding Variety Show, Outstanding host in a Talk or News/Information. In 2018, “The Daily Show” won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Talk Episode and received nominations for a Writers Guild Award (Comedy/Variety Series) as well as two NAACP Image Awards, for Outstanding Talk Series and Outstanding Host in a Talk or News/Information Show. Trevor also won Best Host at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards, as well as a 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series for his hosting role on “The Daily Show – Between The Scenes.”
Born in South Africa to a black South African mother and a white European father, Noah has hosted numerous television shows including South Africa’s music, television and film awards, and two seasons of his own late-night talk show, “Tonight with Trevor Noah.”
Trevor has written, produced, and starred in 11 comedy specials, including his most recent, “Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia,” which launched in November 2018 on Netflix. The special touches upon racism, immigration, camping and more. “Trevor Noah: Son Of Patricia” received a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Variety Show, as well as a Grammy Award nomination for Best Comedy Album. Other recent stand-up specials in “Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark” (2017) on Netflix and “Trevor Noah: Lost in Translation” (2016) on Comedy Central. Noah was the subject of David Paul Meyer’s award-winning documentary film “You Laugh But It’s True” which tells the story of his remarkable career in post-apartheid South Africa. His Showtime comedy special, “Trevor Noah: African American” premiered in 2013. He was nominated for “Personality of the Year” at the 2014 and 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards and won the award in 2015.
Trevor’s success has also spanned to sold out shows over 5 continents. Trevor crossed North America on his first ever arena outing with the “Loud & Clear Tour 2019.” Due to popular demand, Trevor expanded his Loud & Clear Tour to 2020. With over 75 sold-out North American shows to date, including his sold-out show at Madison Square Garden, Trevor is bringing his wildly successful tour to new cities, across the U.S. and Europe.
In 2019, Trevor launched a new podcast series “The Trevor Noah Podcast” exclusively on Luminary. In his podcast, Trevor challenges himself – and all of his listeners – to explore unfamiliar angles, embrace differing viewpoints, and celebrate the contradictions that make the modern world both bewildering and exciting. In 2020, “The Trevor Noah Podcast” won the Webby Award and Webby People’s Voice Award for News & Politics (Podcasts).
Trevor Noah is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” and its young readers adaptation “It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood,” which also debuted as a New York Times bestseller. The book received the Thurber Prize for American Humor and two NAACP Image Awards, one for Outstanding Literary Work by a Debut Author and another for Outstanding Literary Work in the Biography/Auto-Biography category.
“Born A Crime” is a collection of personal stories about growing up in South Africa during the last gasps of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that came with its demise. Already known for his incisive social and political commentary, here Noah turns his focus inward, giving readers an intimate look at the world that shaped him. These are true stories,sometimes dark, occasionally bizarre, frequently tender, and always hilarious. Whether subsisting on caterpillars during months of extreme poverty or making comically hapless attempts at teenage romance, from the time he was thrown in jail to the time he was thrown from a speeding car driven by murderous gangsters, the experiences covered in this book will shock and amaze, even as they leave you rolling on the floor with laughter.
The Audible edition of “Born a Crime,” performed by Trevor, was produced by Audible and remains one of the top-selling, highest-rated, and most-commented-on Audible performances of all time. “Born a Crime” won the Audie Award for “Best Male Narrator,” and was also nominated in the “Autobiography/Memoir,” “Best Narration by the Author” and “Audiobook of the Year” categories. To date, “Born a Crime” has sold over 1 million copies across all formats. The paperback version of “Born a Crime” came out in February 2019. In April 2019, Trevor released “It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime,” adapted for young readers. The book not only provides a fascinating and honest perspective on South Africa’s racial history, but it will inspire young readers looking to improve their own lives.
Trevor’s production company, Day Zero Productions, recently partnered with Viacom and already has several projects in development, including the feature film adaptation of Born a Crime starring Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, which is set up at Paramount Players. Additionally, Trevor is set to produce an upcoming film built around the Adewumi family, specifically 8-year-old Tani who won the 2019 New York chess championship and whose family became an inspiration to many.
In April 2018, Noah launched The Trevor Noah Foundation, a youth development initiative that enhances youth preparedness for higher education or entry into the workforce. Noah’s vision is a South Africa that advances because each generation builds and must grow beyond its predecessor. Through a partnership with Microsoft, the foundation is able to provide under-resourced schools with the opportunity to use technology as a tool to enhance the learning experience, as well as increase digital literacy beyond the classroom.