Writing

Details on Trevor Noah's Book, "Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood"

Trevor Noah shares more news on his first book, “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood”

In January we reported that Trevor Noah had landed his first book deal. We didn’t know much at the time except that the book, a collection of personal stories about The Daily Show host’s childhood in South Africa, will be out in November 2016 via the Penguin Random House imprint, Spiegel & Grau, with the southern African rights going to Pan Macmillan South Africa.


“I couldn’t find a good book about myself so I decided to write one. And just like me this book doesn’t have an appendix,” Noah said in a statement at the time.

We now know a little more about what the book will entail. The collection of 18 personal essays is titled “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood,” and it arrives on November 15th.

The 304-page book is being described as “the compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of a young man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.”

Penguin Random House goes into further detail on their website:

Noah was born a crime, the son of 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 first 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, take him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s 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.

A collection of eighteen personal essays, Born a Crime tells 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. Born a Crime is equally the story of that young man’s fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that ultimately threatens her own life.

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, Noah illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and an unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a lovable delinquent making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed with only a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

As of now, the comedian is scheduled to appear at the Miami Book Fair, taking place November 13-20. Stay tuned for more news about “Born a Crime” and Noah’s upcoming speaking engagements.

The book is available for pre-order here.

Update 6 October, 2016: Noah has now shared what he refers to as the book's exclusive cover for Southern Africa.

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