Trevor Noah has scored the book of the year award at the South African Book awards for his Born A Crime novel.
Pan Macmillan South Africa announced the news at a virtual ceremony hosted by SABA (South African Booksellers Association) last Thursday.
“This book was my blood, sweat and tears. It was my family’s story and my country’s story,” said Noah. He went on to praise South African authors, saying they have the most amazing and inspirational stories to tell, encouraging them to continue writing them down so they can be shared with the rest of the world.
This year marked the 20th anniversary of the SA Book Awards whereby booksellers vote for their favourite titles in three categories including Adult Fiction prize, Adult Non-Fiction prize and the Children’s prize.
The children’s version of the book, Born A Crime: and Other Stories, was also announced as the winner of the Children’s award.
This adaptation has sold over 8,000 copies in South Africa and the original edition published in 2016 has sold almost 120,000 copies.
“Writing a book was a very scary experience but turning the book into a book specifically for kids was even more scary because children have a very short attention span if your book is boring,” said Noah on acceptance of his award.
He went on to thank all the kids who read the book, the parents who read the book with their children, the booksellers who sold the book and the teachers who recommended the book to their students.
Noah donated his prize money to the Trevor Noah Foundation which supports underserved youth with the educational foundations and opportunities they need to become resilient future leaders of South Africa.