Aya of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie
Post by Susan from Southport Branch Library.
Aya of Yop City is a graphic novel set in the Ivory Coast in the 1970s. Originally written in French and inspired by Marguerite’s own childhood, it has received swags of awards. As a reader relatively new to graphic novels as such (never was much of a comics lover as a kid), I am enjoying discovering books that are not about superheroes or fantastical worlds. As such, Aya is totally delightful. The main character Aya is around 19, and she and her friends experience their share of family and personal dilemmas. As do their parents. Rather familiar ones really, despite the cultural nuances. What most appealed to me was the African setting, and the way that the colourful pictures brought that to life. It is also refreshing to see a book that treats its African location as a real place where people live real lives, rather than as either a disaster zone or just an exotic backdrop. Apparently the next instalment in English is due for release later in 2012, and Aya’s adventures may even be translated to screen. Quite a remarkable series.