Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Book Review: Trevor Noah balances humor with harsh realties in his book ‘Born a Crime’

Author Trevor Noah poses on his book cover of “Born A Crime”. His book has sold one million copies. (Courtesy of Google Images)

“Born a Crime” is a captivating memoir written by Trevor Noah, the former host of “The Daily Show.” The book provides a unique and compelling perspective on growing up in post-apartheid South Africa.

Noah’s storytelling is both humorous and poignant, allowing readers to explore the complexities of his childhood in a society marked by racial segregation and political turmoil. The title, “Born a Crime,” refers to Noah’s biracial identity, born to a black mother and a white father during a time when such unions were illegal.

One of the strengths of the book is Noah’s ability to balance humor with the harsh realities of his upbringing. He shares personal anecdotes with wit and charm, making the reader both laugh and reflect on the broader issues at hand. The narrative doesn’t shy away from addressing the challenges of racism, poverty and violence, yet it manages to convey a sense of hope and resilience.

Trevor Noah is known for his comedy. He was nominated in the Emmy Awards for the final “The Daily Show” episodes. (Courtesy of Google Images)

He talks about how his mother, Patricia Noah, played the system well to get herillegal “colored” child into better schools and neighborhoods. The book also delves into Trevor’s relationship with his mother, a remarkable woman whose strength and determination played a pivotal role in shaping Trevor’s character. Patricia’s resilience in the face of adversity serves as a powerful narrative thread throughout the memoir. She was a religious woman who held a strong belief in faith in every possible situation.

“She’d tell me not to worry. She always came back to the phrase she lived by: ‘If God is with me, who can be against me?’” Noah wrote in his book. “She was never scared. Even when she should have been.”

Noah’s writing is accessible, and his storytelling is both engaging and thought-provoking. He effortlessly weaves together personal anecdotes with historical context, providing readers with insights into the socio-political landscape of South Africa. The book is not only a memoir of a comedian but also a social commentary on the impact of apartheid and its aftermath.

Overall, “Born a Crime” is a highly recommended read. Trevor Noah’s ability to navigate the complexities of his upbringing with humor and sincerity creates a memoir that is not only entertaining but also offers valuable perspectives on race, identity and the human spirit. Whether you’re a fan of Noah’s comedy or interested in South African history, this book is a compelling and enriching journey through one man’s life.

Edited by Sydney Peterson and Jeremy Ford

 

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