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Born a Crime

Stories from a South African Childhood

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed

NAMED ONE OF PASTE’S BEST MEMOIRS OF THE DECADE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Michiko Kakutani, New York Times • USA Today • San Francisco Chronicle • NPR • Esquire • Newsday • Booklist

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of
The Daily Show 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. 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.

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 that young man’s 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 stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

Praise for Born a Crime

 “[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah’s] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . .
Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother.”
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“[An] unforgettable memoir.”
—Parade


 “What makes 
Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider 
Born a Crime another such gift to her—and an enormous gift to the rest of us.”
—USA Today

“[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar.”
—People
Rezension
"[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah's] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah's family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . In the end, Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author's remarkable mother."-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"[An] unforgettable memoir."-Parade

"You'd be hard-pressed to find a comic's origin story better than the one Trevor Noah serves up in Born a Crime. . . . [He] developed his aptitude for witty truth telling [and]...every hardscrabble memory of helping his mother scrape together money for food, gas, school fees, and rent, or barely surviving the temper of his stepfather, Abel, reveals the anxious wellsprings of the comedian's ambition and success. If there is harvest in spite of blight, the saying goes, one does not credit the blight-but Noah does manage to wring brilliant comedy from it."-O: The Oprah Magazine

"What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her-and an enormous gift to the rest of us."-USA Today

"[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar."-People

"This isn't your average comic-writes-a-memoir: It's a unique look at a man who is a product of his culture-and a nuanced look at a part of the world whose people have known dark times easily pushed aside."-Refinery29

"Noah's memoir is extraordinary . . . essential reading on every level. It's hard to imagine anyone else doing a finer job of it."-The Seattle Times

"Powerful prose . . . told through stories and vignettes that are sharply observed, deftly conveyed and consistently candid. Growing organically from them is an affecting investigation of identity, ethnicity, language, masculinity, nationality and, most of all, humanity-all issues that the election of Donald Trump in the United States shows are foremost in minds and hearts everywhere. . . . What the reader gleans are the insights that made Noah the thoughtful, observant, empathic man who wrote Born a Crime. . . . Here is a level-headed man, forged by remarkable and shocking life incidents, who is quietly determined and who knows where home and the heart lie. Would this unique story have been published had it been about someone not a celebrity of the planet? Possibly not, and to the detriment of potential readers, because this is a warm and very human story of the type that we will need to survive the Trump presidency's imminent freezing of humane values."-Mail & Guardian (South Africa)

"[Noah's] story of surviving-and thriving-is mind-blowing."-Cosmopolitan

"A gifted storyteller, able to deftly lace his poignant tales with amusing irony."-Entertainment Weekly

"Noah has a real tale to tell, and he tells it well. . . . Among the many virtues of Born a Crime is a frank and telling portrait of life in South Africa during the 1980s and '90s. . . . Born a Crime offers Americans a second introduction to Trevor Noah, and he makes a real impression."-Newsday

"An affecting memoir, Born a Crime [is] a love letter to his mother."-The Washington Post

"Witty and revealing . . . Noah's story is the story of modern South Africa; though he enjoyed some privileges of the region's slow Westernization, his formative years were shaped by poverty, injustice, and violence. Noah is quick with a disarming joke, and he skillfully integrates the parallel narratives via interstitial asides between chapters. . . . Perhaps the most harrowing tales are those of his abusive stepfather, which form the book's final act (and which Noah
Portrait
Trevor Noah is a comedian from South Africa.
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    Run

    Sometimes in big Hollywood movies they'll have these crazy chase scenes where somebody jumps or gets thrown from a moving car. The person hits the ground and rolls for a bit. Then they come to a stop and pop up and dust themselves off, like it was no big deal. Whenever I see that I think, That's rubbish. Getting thrown out of a moving car hurts way worse than that.

    I was nine years old when my mother threw me out of a moving car. It happened on a Sunday. I know it was on a Sunday because we were coming home from church, and every Sunday in my childhood meant church. We never missed church. My mother was-and still is- a deeply religious woman. Very Christian. Like indigenous peoples around the world, black South Africans adopted the religion of our colonizers. By "adopt" I mean it was forced on us. The white man was quite stern with the native. "You need to pray to Jesus," he said. "Jesus will save you." To which the native replied, "Well, we do need to be saved-saved from you, but that's beside the point. So let's give this Jesus thing a shot."

    My whole family is religious, but where my mother was Team Jesus all the way, my grandmother balanced her Christian faith with the traditional Xhosa beliefs she'd grown up with, communicating with the spirits of our ancestors. For a long time I didn't understand why so many black people had abandoned their indigenous faith for Christianity. But the more we went to church and the longer I sat in those pews the more I learned about how Christianity works: If you're Native American and you pray to the wolves, you're a savage. If you're African and you pray to your ancestors, you're a primitive. But when white people pray to a guy who turns water into wine, well, that's just common sense.

    My childhood involved church, or some form of church, at least four nights a week. Tuesday night was the prayer meeting. Wednesday night was Bible study. Thursday night was Youth church. Friday and Saturday we had off. (Time to sin!) Then on Sunday we went to church. Three churches, to be precise. The reason we went to three churches was because my mom said each church gave her something different. The first church offered jubilant praise of the Lord. The second church offered deep analysis of the scripture, which my mom loved. The third church offered passion and catharsis; it was a place where you truly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit inside you. Completely by coincidence, as we moved back and forth among these churches, I noticed that each one had its own distinct racial makeup: Jubilant church was mixed church. Analytical church was white church. And passionate, cathartic church, that was black church.

    Mixed church was Rhema Bible Church. Rhema was one of those huge, supermodern, suburban megachurches. The pastor, Ray McCauley, was an ex-bodybuilder with a big smile and the personality of a cheerleader. Pastor Ray had competed in the 1974 Mr. Universe competition. He placed third. The winner that year was Arnold Schwarzenegger. Every week, Ray would be up onstage working really hard to make Jesus cool. There was arena-style seating and a rock band jamming out with the latest Christian contemporary pop. Everyone sang along, and if you didn't know the words that was okay because they were all right up there on the Jumbotron for you. It was Christian karaoke, basically. I always had a blast at mixed church.

    White church was Rosebank Union in Sandton, a very white and wealthy part of Johannesburg. I loved white church because I didn't actually have to go to the main service. My mom would go to that, and I would go to the youth side, to Sunday school. In Sunday school we got to read cool stories. Noah and the flood was obviously a favorite; I had a personal stake there. But I also loved the stories about Moses parting the Red Sea, David slaying Goliath, Jesus whipping the money changers in the temple.

    I grew up in a home with very little exp
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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 304
Erscheinungsdatum 01.09.2017
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-525-50902-8
Verlag Random House LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 20,4/13,2/2,2 cm
Gewicht 222 g
Verkaufsrang 11
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
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Großartig!
von einer Kundin/einem Kunden am 26.03.2020

Die Geschichte eines Kindes zur Zeiten der Apartheid wunderbar erzählt! Traurig und humorvoll. Eins meiner Lieblingsbücher! Jeder, der sich für die südafrikanische Geschichte interessiert, sollte es lesen.

A humorous glance at the past
von einer Kundin/einem Kunden am 04.03.2020
Bewertet: eBook (ePUB)

Trevor Noah serves the reader a humorous description of how it was to grow up in Apartheid-shaped South Africa. As a child of a black mother and a white father, he just did not fit in the segregated country - being neither black nor white. Noah tells anecdotes of how he grew up - some are funny, some make you think -, which prob... Trevor Noah serves the reader a humorous description of how it was to grow up in Apartheid-shaped South Africa. As a child of a black mother and a white father, he just did not fit in the segregated country - being neither black nor white. Noah tells anecdotes of how he grew up - some are funny, some make you think -, which problems he faced and how he solved or maneuvered around them. Definitely worth the read.

Verrückte Kindheit!
von einer Kundin/einem Kunden aus Aarau am 05.02.2020

Das Buch gibt einen Einblick in das Leben unter der Apartheid und direkt danach. Tolle Einsicht in das Leben der südafrikanische Jugend.