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  • Olivia Velasquez

Born a Crime – My Favorite Nonfiction Book

I almost never care about a celebrity memoir. For a few different reasons, I tend to stay away from these types of works. In a general sense, not everyone can write and not everyone should. Also, most readers can’t relate to stories of lavish living and scandal. Having an interesting life does not warrant an entire poorly written book. Then comes Trevor Noah.

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood is one of the first memoirs that I took note of. It was in every bookstore and at the top of every “best of” list for years. Trevor Noah, a South African comedian, authored his memoir and it was published in November of 2016. The book even peaked as a #1 New York Times Bestseller and was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, Newsday, Esquire, and Booklist.

Born a Crime consists of a series of essays, recounting the life of Trevor Noah. Noah is a comedian and has been the host of The Daily Show since 2015. Born in South Africa to a black parent and a white parent, where it was a crime to be so, he was literally born a crime. Through a series of anecdotes about his life in South Africa during the apartheid era, some sad and some laugh-out-loud funny, Noah beautifully illustrates the realities of not fitting in and oppression.

So, how was it?

Trevor Noah’s autobiography was a delight from the start. It can be difficult to write with your own voice, but somehow Noah incorporated his comedic style into an incredibly sensitive subject. His stories will either make you weep in sadness or laugh so hard you cry. Either way, you’ll absolutely need a box of tissues. Even if you’re not a memoir or nonfiction reader, this one is worth it.

Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood is available as a print book, ebook, and audiobook. These can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Audible, along with most booksellers.

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