By Marguerite Abouet & Clément Oubrerie. Published by Drawn & Quarterly.
Softcover, 382 pages, Colour, 2012 (originally published in French from 2005-2010)
Ivory Coast, 1978. It’s a golden time, and the nation, too—an oasis of affluence and stability in West Africa—seems fueled by something wondrous. Aya is loosely based upon Marguerite Abouet’s youth in Yop City. It is the story of the studious and clear-sighted 19-year old Aya, her easy-going friends Adjoua and Bintou, and their meddling relatives and neighbors. It’s wryly funny, breezy account of the simple pleasures and private troubles of everyday life in Yop City.
Clément Oubrerie’s warm colors and energetic, playful line connect expressively with Marguerite Abouet’s vibrant writing. This reworked edition offers readers the chance to immerse themselves in the lively world of Aya and her friends, bringing together the first three volumes of the series in Book One. Drawn & Quarterly has release volumes four through six of the original French series (as yet unpublished in English) in Aya: Love in Yop City. Aya is the winner of the Best First Album award at the Angouleme International Comics Festival, the Children’s Africana Book Award, and the Glyph Award; was nominated for the Quill Award, the YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels list, and the Eisner Award; and was included on “best of” lists from The Washington Post, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal.
Aya: Life in Yop City has been translated from the French by Helge Dascher. Dascher has been translating graphic novels from French and German to English for over twenty years. A contributor to Drawn & Quarterly since the early days, her translations include acclaimed titles such as Hostage by Guy Delisle and Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët. With a background in art history and history, she also translates books and exhibitions for museums in North America and Europe. She lives in Montreal.