no spoiler book review
I found this book after I decided to divide The Book of Joy into two readings. The Book of Joy is an interview between the Archbishop Tutu of South Africa and the Dalai Lama and how they think humans can find lasting happiness. The Archbishop talks a lot about Apartheid and South Africa, subjects that I know very little about. So, when I was scrolling Overdrive looking at available ebooks and I saw Born a Crime, I figured it was a happy coincidence and an opportunity for me to learn more about South African history.
Each chapter of this book presents a prologue about South African history or Apartheid coupled with Trevor Noah’s experiences growing up there. A lot of the stories are about how his life was impacted by the laws and society at the time. This book definitely falls into the category of non-fiction that reads like fiction, I learned a lot about a culture that I knew very little about, in a way that kept me turning pages. I knew that Trevor Noah was from South Africa, but I always thought there was an asterisk there, like he moved to the US when he was three or was one of the “rich kids”. The truth is he graduated High School there and was so poor at one point he was living in a mechanic’s garage and sleeping in cars.
I used to think of Trevor Noah as a mischievous elf or trickster, he’s just so effing cute and funny, but I need to give him much more credit than that. The fact that he made it out of such a terrible situation and has always been able to see the humor in life, makes me respect him as a storyteller and social advocate. I know some people won’t read this because they don’t agree with his politics, but everyone could benefit from the cultural and historical knowledge provided in this book.
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