Stories From a South African Childhood

Through humor and insight, Trevor Noah's memoir narrates his unique coming-of-age journey amidst the challenges of apartheid.

South Africa I have never visited South Africa, but I felt like a true armchair traveler reading “Born a Crime”, and learning about the way of life of “ordinary” people, instead of monumental historical figures like Nelson Mandela. It’s amazing how Trevor gave character to individual neighborhood I had never heard of, but can now visualize with a sense of greater understanding. His descriptions of the people in this book make them come to life.

The book is about Trevor growing up in South Africa when apartheid was coming to an end. Apartheid and its aftermath left the impoverished black population of South Africa with hard lives and few opportunities. Nevertheless, Trevor infuses his story with hope and humor.

The memoir also pays tribute to Noah’s mother, Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah, portraying her as a resilient and nurturing figure who played a pivotal role in shaping Noah’s worldview and values. Through his heartfelt and vivid descriptions, Noah brings to life the colorful characters and vibrant communities that were part of his formative years, offering readers a deeper understanding of the human experiences that unfolded against the backdrop of a complex and transformative period in South African history.