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Words of a Bibliophile

"It's only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away." —Bee Gees

Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood - Trevor Noah

I barely knew anything about Trevor Noah because I don't follow American late night talk shows, but I found his story to be profoundly eye-opening and an important one to be told. Born to a black mother and a white father in South Africa during apartheid, the fact that Noah exists was in itself considered a crime. There is a lot to learn in this engrossing memoir about what it was like to live as a mixed child surrounded by racism, oppression, discrimination, violence in and outside the home, and abject poverty. I loved the dynamic cat-and-mouse relationship between Noah and his mother, a complicated, rebellious, incredibly strong woman who thrived in the face of adversity.

I thought the timeline could've been clearer — the story would sometimes jump around in chronology and only mentions Noah's age in relation to historical events instead of exact years — and there are some narrative gaps here and there, but I still enjoyed it a lot. It's insightful but also very easy to read, with touches of dark humor which cut through some grave moments. Such an informative, entertaining, impactful book.