Micro review: 'Born a Crime' touches upon several heavy subjects with much sensitivity

Micro review: ‘Born a Crime’ touches upon several heavy subjects with much sensitivity


Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is a compilation of beautiful stories from the author’s youth. He was born and raised in South Africa. Being born half white and half black, the birth of an “illegal” union, he is “born a crime”. Noah’s narration sketches his life with his single mother in South Africa.

Every story in the book starts with a small note on a topic, which engages the interest of the reader. The author deals with the horrors of post-apartheid South Africa in a matter-of-fact manner as he grew up facing them and he eventually began to see them as routine events. One would feel sorry that a small child had to live with the burdensome knowledge of the world being unfair and being full of terrible happenings. However, the book isn’t just filled with tales of darkness and suffering. There is a lot of mischief and love in the pages as well. The author’s love and respect for his mother and the way she raised him is evident and one will enjoy seeing the world through his eyes. Trevor Noah grew up to be a comedian and his writing is both insightful and humorous.

Born a Crime is an easy and pleasant read. While it touches heavy subjects like racism and cruelty, it views them from a practical lens. Despite suffering from the repercussions of apartheid, the author isn’t jaded or stuck in the past and his perspective brings to fore a pleasurable narrative.

How critics view the book:

It bubbles over with excitement and good humour, and at the same time it’s penetrating in the accuracy of its psychological and social observation.”, says
Peter Clothier of
Huffington Post

Michiko Kakutani of the
New York Times noted, “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”.

“The book is essential reading not only because it is a personal story of survival, leavened with insight and wit, but because it does more to expose apartheid – its legacy, its pettiness, its small-minded stupidity and its damage – than any other recent history book or academic text,” stated
Marinne Thamm, scriptwriter and journalist.



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