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Trevor Noah, Author And Narrator Of ‘Born A Crime’

The Daily Show host and native South African talks about his engrossing new memoir, Born a Crime, bringing his own story to life in audio, and the greatest gift his mother ever gave him.

Trevor Noah covers a lot of serious issues like colonialism, apartheid, being an outsider, religion, education, gender roles and more. He talks about how his mother – who comes across as the rugged heroine of his story – played the system well to get her illegal “colored” child into better schools and neighborhoods, and how this often led to him having difficulty fitting in.

I learned things that, though perhaps not surprising, were horrifying, such as how police refused to file charges in cases of domestic violence because they sympathized with the husband. It’s a book about important issues in a country that has, throughout history, largely been portrayed through the eyes of white journalists and writers, but it’s also such a warm, lovable, funny bookin many ways.

Born A Crime is the perfect blend of sociopolitical discussion and a personal tale of family, friendship and first crushes. It is written as a series of short essays, each around a certain theme and not in chronological order, but this actually makes it all easier to digest. Noah’s writing is so engaging that I would think “just one more essay” until suddenly a hundred pages had gone by and I realized I might be addicted.