‘Born a Crime’ leaves impression

Henry Boland
Contributing Writer

“Born a Crime,” by Trevor Noah. (Penguin Random House/TNS)

“Born a Crime” is an autobiography written by South African comedian Trevor Noah. Noah tells his coming of age story through stories about his home and school life in different environments he grew up in.

The frequently depressing and hysterical novel follows Noah’s childhood as a racially-mixed boy in South Africa during the time of apartheid rule and the aftermath of such. Noah is the son of a Black South African mother and a Swiss-German father.

The title “Born a Crime” comes from the banning of interracial relationships and marriages by the apartheid government so in a sense, Noah was born illegally because of his different race parents. Patricia Noah, Noah’s mom, was the key to his development as a child, she was determined to make sure her son had deep values of education, respect and religion.

This discombobulated novel shows the struggles Noah faced but has a humorous aspect as one could expect from a comedian author. The story can teach a reader lots of lessons that are only taught in a South African setting and that makes this one of the most influential books that many have read.

Although Noah is most known for his starring in Emmy and Peabody Award winning program “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” his 2016 novel has received multiple awards such as the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature in 2017. The novel was graded a 4.5/5 by Common Sense Media and Goodreads. Both are some of the most highly trusted sources for book reviews.

This story is told through 304 pages. Mostly available in all public libraries but also can be found online and heard through audiobooks. Most popular purchases of the book are from the Amazon page that is available for $14.99 or listened to on Audible.

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