Aya and Aya of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet
Illustrated by Clement Obrerie
Drawn and Quarterly, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
A lovely pair of graphic novels, beautifully illustrated and fun to read. A great choice if you haven’t read a graphic novel before.
These are light-hearted stories of Aya, her relatives and her two friends living in a working class neighborhood called Yop City, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, during the mid 1970′s., a time when the country was prosperous and politically stable.
Aya is studious, a hard worker, and hopes to finish her schooling and become a doctor. Her best friends are more interested in dancing and boyfriends and her father is a district manager who ends up traveling for his job. These relationships lead to some plot twists which the girls handle gracefully, despite their differences. The art work is wonderful, capturing the atmosphere of the city and its people. And Abouet adds some interesting notes in the back of each book including a glossary, recipes and instructions for tying a pagne, the brightly colored cloth African women wear around their hips or their head. There is also an interview with the author included in Aya of Yop City. Enjoy these wonderful books!