Born a Crime: And Other Third World Problems
Trevor Noah is the host of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, where he gleefully provides America with its nightly dose of serrated satire. He is a light-footed but cutting observer of the relentless absurdities of politics, nationalism and race -- and in particular the craziness of his own young life, which he's lived at the intersections of culture and history. In his first book, Noah tells his coming of age story with his larger-than-life mother during the last gasps of apartheid-era South Africa and the turbulent years that followed. Noah was born illegal -- the son of a white, Dutch father and a black Xhosa mother, who had to pretend to be his nanny or his father's servant in the brief moments when the family came together. His brilliantly eccentric mother loomed over his life -- a comically zealous Christian (they went to church six days a week and three times on Sunday), a savvy hustler who kept food on their table during rough times, and an aggressively involved, if often seriously misguided, parent who set Noah on his bumpy path to stardom. The stories Noah tells are sometimes dark, occasionally bizarre, frequently tender, and always hilarious -- whether he's subsisting on caterpillars during months of extreme poverty or making comically pitiful attempts at teenage romance in a colour-obsessed world; whether he's being thrown into jail as the hapless fall guy for a crime he didn't commit or being thrown by his mother from a speeding car driven by murderous gangsters.
Essential reading not only because it is a personal story of survival, leavened with insight and wit, but because it does more to expose apartheid - its legacy, its pettiness, its small-minded stupidity and its damage - than any other recent history book or academic text. GUARDIAN It's no surprise that Trevor Noah, the slyly suave successor to Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show, should write a smart book. But 'smart' doesn't begin to cover what he pulls off in Born a Crime ... Noah's memoir is extraordinary ... essential reading on every level. It's hard to imagine anyone else doing a finer job of it SEATTLE TIMES Powerful... The story of his life is full of chase scenes in which he runs, hell for leather, from spankings, from the long arm of the law, and from the swinging fist of his stepfather... a unique perspective THE TIMES A soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism ... is an enormous gift. USA TODAY A BOOK TO READ NOW WALL STREET JOURNAL A memoir with heft... The interracial coupling that produced him really was a crime, making him an outsider. But he thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. (At one point she tosses him from a moving car -- driven by gangsters -- to save his life.) However brutal South African history is, their fierce bond makes this story soar PEOPLE, Best New Books Noah has a real story to tell -- and tells it well... A little scary, but trust me -- it's funny NEWSDAY An affecting memoir... a love letter to his mother WASHINGTON POST Mind-blowing as f*** COSMOPOLITAN Noah proves a gifted storyteller, deftly lacing his poignant tales with amusing irony ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY Incisive, funny, and vivid, these staggering true tales are anchored to Noah's portrait of his courageous, rebellious, and religious mother who defied racially restrictive laws to secure an education and a career for herself - and to have a child with a white Swiss/German even though sex between whites and blacks was illegal... Trevor Noah's electrifying memoir sparkles with funny stories ... and his candid and compassionate essays deepen our perception of the complexities of race, gender, and class BOOKLIST A gritty memoir ... studded with insight and provocative social criticism ... and brilliant storytelling and acute observations KIRKUS Sharp, at times harrowing ... The Daily Show host Trevor Noah reveals his coming-of-age as the son of protective interracial parents in apartheid South Africa HARPER'S BAZAAR Humble, candid and funny ELLE (South Africa) Thoughtful, observant and empathetic...a warm and human story of the type we will need to survive the Trump presidency's imminent freezing of humane values MAIL & GUARDIAN (South Africa)
TREVOR NOAH is the host of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Daily Show. He first joined the show as a contributor in 2014 and succeeded Jon Stewart as host in 2015. While The Daily Show has introduced Noah to an American audience, he's long been a popular comedian around the globe. Born in South Africa to a black South African mother and a white European father, Noah rose improbably to stardom with The Racist, his one-man show at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which enjoyed a sold-out run and became one of the most talked-about shows at the festival that year. He made his US television debut that year on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and has also appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, becoming the first South African stand-up comedian to appear on either late-night program. He lives in New York.