Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Published: November 15, 2016
Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction
My Rating: 5 Stars
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.
Okay, so this was an incredible book, and I’m not really sure how to express how much I enjoyed it.
I listened to the audiobook, and I usually don’t listen to audiobooks at work, only while I’m driving. I have a hard time paying attention to audiobooks while I’m working. However, this one, this one I listened to a couple hours at work as well as when I was driving. If you’ve seen the Daily Show, you know that Trevor Noah is pretty good at voices and mimicking accents. He uses it to his advantage to make this story and the people he writes about come to life.
So, I am a white woman from New Hampshire who has lived a pretty typical middle-class white person from New Hampshire life. I remember watching Trevor Noah being interviewed on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert when he was promo-ing this books, and I thought “hmm, that’s interesting. I think I would enjoy this book.” Trevor Noah was telling a story that he writes about in the book where he was running from his mother and because he was faster than her, she would scream “Stop thief!” and he would yell “I’m not a thief I’m her son!” as people would try to catch him.
It’s a story of overcoming, but it’s not written as a story about overcoming. It’s a matter of fact this is what happened when I was growing up. It’s just how it was. It’s a story of a boy and his mother, and just how growing up as someone who didn’t fit in because of who his parents were. It’s about understanding yourself when the outside doesn’t match what you feel on the inside. But at the end, it’s a love story of a boy and his mother, and it’s heartbreaking and wonderful.
I am very interested in seeing if Trevor Noah will write more memoirs because I would like to read them. There are so many more stories there.
Have you read an incredibly moving memoir this year?
Until next time Internet,