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Publisher Description


The compelling, inspiring, (often comic) coming-of-age story of Trevor Noah, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

One of the comedy world's brightest new voices, Trevor Noah is a light-footed but sharp-minded observer of the absurdities of politics, race and identity, sharing jokes and insights drawn from the wealth of experience acquired in his relatively young life. As host of the US hit show The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, he provides viewers around the globe with their nightly dose of biting satire, but here Noah turns his focus inward, giving readers a deeply personal, heartfelt and humorous look at the world that shaped him.

Noah was born a crime, son of 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 first 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, take him away.

A collection of eighteen personal stories, Born a Crime tells the story of a mischievous young boy growing into a restless young man as he struggles to find his place in a world where he was never supposed to exist. Born a Crime is equally the story of that young man's fearless, rebellious and fervently religious mother - a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence and abuse that ultimately threatens her own life.

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, Noah illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and an unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a personal portrait of an unlikely childhood in a dangerous time, as moving and unforgettable as the very best memoirs and as funny as Noah's own hilarious stand-up. Born a Crime is a must read.

Biographies & Memoirs
17 November
John Murray Press
Hachette Australia Pty Ltd

Customer Reviews

eddframe ,


This is an incredible read, I would recommend it to anyone! But more so for people that have grown up in the third world nations and are currently living in first world countries but always want to go back home. This book is a great story that truely expresses the struggles of apartheid, but also the struggle of a young kid growing up in a third world country and not really knowing where he fit in the world. Being a mix race kid that grew up in Papua New Guinea and relating more to my Papua New Guinean half I can say that this book spoke to me in so many different ways and I’m so glad I read it because it really is an outstanding piece that was entertaining and insightful. I can totally relate to Trevas upbringing but more than that the book brought up for me a lot of memories of my own past and made me see my own life in a different way than I have before. A great read and highly recommended.

thethingthing ,

An insightful account of South Africa, its story and its people

What can’t Trevor Noah do?! Somehow he makes this book about South Africa and its ugly history such a joy to read. As an in-betweener (not black, not white, not coloured), Trevor is not the first person who experiences racism but his is the first book that has threaded the foundation of racism, its ingenius implementation and dire cyclical consequences so clearly. Needless to say, the relationship between Trevor and his mother is inspirational. If anything, Born A Crime has taught me to question the norms someone impose at home; school; church; society.

littlaussie ,

Brilliant book

This book was amazing. I couldn’t put it down. Great story of Trevor Noah’s life.

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