Born A Crime

Trevor Noah

Age 16 +
01 August 2023
360 pages


‘A terrific book … His comedy is so universal that it has the power to transcend borders.’ – BILL GATES

‘… this is a moving, intimate story of growing up in South Africa from 1984. It stands as an archetypal rite-of-passage and coming-to-maturity tale, with unflinching and vivid accounts of home and school life in township and city, domestic violence, enterprising young men in Alex scrabbling to make the barest of livings …’ – MAIL & GUARDIAN

Trevor Noah’s path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show in New York and beyond began with a criminal act: 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.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of his relationship with his fearless, rebellious and fervently religious mother – his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The eighteen personal essays collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic and deeply affecting. Whether being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping or simply trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his world with an incisive wit and an unflinching honesty.