It is apt that the day I turned the last page on Trevor Noah’s fantastic literary debut happened to be Mother’s day. Born a Crime is a story of many things. Life as a biracial child in apartheid South Africa. The tales of mischief of a young boy with a healthy sense of curiosity and all-round naughtiness. An exploration of racism, classism and the divides that form in a society under oppression. But most of all, Born a Crime is a beautiful and moving ode to Trevor’s fierce and loving mother, Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah.
Through every story that Trevor narrates, the love and admiration he has for his mother shines through. The adventures of young Trevor are deftly described with a lot of humour yet without shying away from the ugliness. The book explores heavier topics such as racism, classism, tribalism and domestic violence but never with a heavy-handedness, managing to craft compelling multi-dimensional characters who populate the colourful world that makes up Trevor’s childhood. This was a fascinating read that I couldn’t bear to put down until I had completed it. One of the best autobiographies that I have read. I would highly recommend this to anyone, whether or not you are a fan of Trevor Noah. He also narrates his audio book delightfully succeeding in bringing all the stories to life, so definitely check that out if audio books are more your speed.