Aya has captured the hearts of North American readers of all ages for the rare portrait it paints of a vibrant, happy, bourgeois Ivory Coast in the 1970s, based upon Marguerite Abouet’s youth in Yop City. Not only is Aya complemented with Clément Oubrerie’s gorgeous artwork but the volumes offer a slice-of-life peek into African culture: complete with recipes, glossaries, and wardrobe instructions for turning one’s pagne (brightly coloured fabric) into a skirt, headwrap or baby carrier. Engaging and fun, the universal stories in Aya provide a much-needed context for today’s all-too-common unfortunate and heartbreaking news stories.
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.
"Based on Abouet's remembrance of her childhood in Abidjan...the story, along with French illustrator Oubrerie's artwork, brings to life an Ivory Coast not seen before - a place overflowing with vibrant, rich textiles, new words, music, food, and lively characters filled with humor, love, and the hope for a better life." Library Journal, starred review
Drawn & Quarterly, hardback, 140 pages, published August 2009
Also in this series: Aya Hardcover, Aya of Yop City Hardcover