Born a crime by trevor noah
I have always loved reading about (and I particularly cherish) stories by African authors. Not only am I inspired by them, I see myself and my family in them. I devoured this book in a matter of hours. I just laid in bed on a rainy Saturday and read it. This did not come to me as a surprise because: 1. I wanted to escape the world and my problems for a bit and a good book is perfect for that, 2. I love watching Trevor Noah and I knew I would love reading his story equally, if not a bit more. Now that I think about it is not often that I read a book where the protagonist is male, and a black male at that (this year two so far, and that is because I am making a conscious effort to read more black stories); so I was particularly curious to read about someone I have been watching for a long time.
Now unto the story…fyi I hate spoilers so I won’t include too give many details in that regard!
Due to my cultural background I found parts of it very relatable (the dynamics of hours spent at church and daily life in school, the mix of faith and cultural superstitions, family dynamics). Nonetheless, I was also submerged in new environments that made me think about how I would react and evaluate the different perspectives presented by the characters in the book.
In addition, I loved the insight to history and culture I got from the book. It’s like you don’t know much about an historical event you personally did not live through, but you hear about it, you learn about its impact from textbooks, you see social changes it created…however you rarely get to hear a personal story of how a person’s life was affected by it. In a way this book gave me something like that with describing how the Apartheid affected Trevor’s life. With the little chapter introductions (I just refer to them as that) the author gives little historical context about racism, colonialism that relate to actual events in his life. The book discusses heavy topics mixed with life events in a way that forces you think even though sometimes you can’t help but laugh. Just as in his talk show his words can make you laugh but you can also comprehend the significance and impact of what he talking about. And also, wow, to hear the story of Trevor’s mom, her resilience, strength, faith is truly inspiring.
Lastly, I was totally hearing his voice in my head the entire time. Which makes me think when you read whose voice do you hear?