Sunday, April 9, 2017

Born a Crime

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah   304 pages

Noah's memoir, written as 18 essays, shows his path from childhood in apartheid South Africa to adulthood.  The title comes from his birth: "Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle."

I found this book to be fascinating, and have placed a hold on the audiobook because I think it's going to make for a great listen.  While I knew what I read about apartheid and studied in college, reading a first-person account of it was very eye-opening.  Noah isn't overly dramatic; he makes his points and lays things out very plainly, and that's what makes it so arresting.  I really found his memoir to be very thought-provoking about not just apartheid, but race, and how people see each other, and also how they communicate with each other and how important that it.  I found that I was pausing for reflection several times when I was reading this book because I was really thinking about what he was saying.  Definitely a good read if you don't know much about apartheid and want an insider's point of view, but also a good read generally, especially if you are interested in race relations and how groups of people can see each other quite differently.

No comments:

Post a Comment