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memoirs

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

 
 
Author
Trevor Noah.
Publisher Spiegel & Grau  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.5 x 1 inches
ISBN 9780399588174
Pages/Publication Date 288/2016
Daedalus Item Code 79117
This item is not available.
Description
(Named a Best Book of 2016 by Esquire, Newsday, and NPR, as well as by New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani) His unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor Noah was the son of a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by prison. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Noah and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. His memoir 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 his relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten 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 unflinching honesty.

"By turns alarming, sad and funny, the book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah's family, at life in South Africa under apartheid.... Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author's remarkable mother."NYTimes

"Witty and revealing.... Noah's story is the story of modern South Africa; though he enjoyed some privileges of the region's slow Westernization, his formative years were shaped by poverty, injustice, and violence. Noah is quick with a disarming joke, and he skillfully integrates the parallel narratives via interstitial asides between chapters.... Perhaps the most harrowing tales are those of his abusive stepfather, which form the book's final act (and which Noah cleverly foreshadows throughout earlier chapters), but equally prominent are the laugh-out-loud yarns about going to the prom, and the differences between 'White Church' and 'Black Church'."Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 
 
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