Growing up mixed race in South Africa, this is the fascinating and darkly funny memoir from Trevor Noah.
Trevor Noah is the host of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, where he gleefully provides America with its nightly dose of serrated satire. He is a light-footed but cutting observer of the relentless absurdities of politics, nationalism and race -- and in particular the craziness of his own young life, which he's lived at the intersections of culture and history.
In his first book, Noah tells his coming of age story with his larger-than-life mother during the last gasps of apartheid-era South Africa and the turbulent years that followed. Noah was born illegal -- the son of a white, Dutch father and a black Xhosa mother, who had to pretend to be his nanny or his father's servant in the brief moments when the family came together. His brilliantly eccentric mother loomed over his life -- a comically zealous Christian (they went to church six days a week and three times on Sunday), a savvy hustler who kept food on their table during rough times, and an aggressively involved, if often seriously misguided, parent who set Noah on his bumpy path to stardom.
The stories Noah tells are sometimes dark, occasionally bizarre, frequently tender, and always hilarious -- whether he's subsisting on caterpillars during months of extreme poverty or making comically pitiful attempts at teenage romance in a colour-obsessed world; whether he's being thrown into jail as the hapless fall guy for a crime he didn't commit or being thrown by his mother from a speeding car driven by murderous gangsters.
About the Author
Trevor Noah is the host of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Daily Show. He first joined the show as a contributor in 2014 and succeeded Jon Stewart as host in 2015. While The Daily Show has introduced Noah to an American audience, he's long been a popular comedian around the globe. Born in South Africa to a black South African mother and a white European father, Noah rose improbably to stardom with The Racist, his one-man show at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which enjoyed a sold-out run and became one of the most talked-about shows at the festival that year. He made his US television debut that year on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and has also appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, becoming the first South African stand-up comedian to appear on either late-night program. He lives in New York.
A substantial collection of staggering personal essays ... Incisive, funny, and vivid, these true tales are anchored to his portrait of his courageous, rebellious, and religious mother who defied racially restrictive laws to secure an education and a career for herself - and to have a child with a white Swiss/German even though sex between whites and blacks was illegal... Trevor Noah's electrifying memoir sparkles with funny stories ... and his candid and compassionate essays deepen our perception of the complexities of race, gender, and class Booklist A gritty memoir ... studded with insight and provocative social criticism ... with flashes of brilliant storytelling and acute observations Kirkus