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Aya of Yop City

Aya of Yop City

4.0 2
by Marguerite Abouet, Clement Oubrerie

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“[Aya] wittily delves into both the political and the pop during an enchanted era when anything seemed possible.” —Vibe Vixen

The original Drawn & Quarterly volume of Aya debuted last year to much critical acclaim, receiving a Quill Award nomination and praise for its accessibility and for the rare portrait of a warm,


“[Aya] wittily delves into both the political and the pop during an enchanted era when anything seemed possible.” —Vibe Vixen

The original Drawn & Quarterly volume of Aya debuted last year to much critical acclaim, receiving a Quill Award nomination and praise for its accessibility and for the rare portrait of a warm, vibrant Africa it presents. This continuation of the dynamic story by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie returns to Africa’s Ivory Coast in the late 1970s, where life in Yop City is as dramatic as ever. Oubrerie’s artwork synchronizes perfectly with Abouet’s funny and lighthearted writing, which together create a spirited atmosphere and scenarios that, however unique to the bygone setting, remain entirely contemporary in their effect.

The original cast of characters is back in full force, with a case of questionable paternity fanning the flames of activity in the community. The new mother Adjoua has her friends to help with the baby, perhaps employing Aya a bit too frequently, while a new romance leaves Bintou with little time for her friends, let alone their responsibilities. The young women aren’t the only residents of Yopougon involved in the excitement, however; Aya’s father is caught in the midst of his own trysts and his employer’s declining Solibra beer sales, and Adjoua’s brother finds his share of the city’s nightlife.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Oubrerie’s style animates both the broadly funny and painfully grave moments in Abouet’s rhythmic slice-of-life storytelling. Grade: A–” —The Washington Post

Publishers Weekly

Abouet and Oubrerie's sequel to their 2007 graphic novel Aya is a charming comedy of manners about a group of young women-a sort of Jane Austen scenario transplanted to the Ivory Coast of the late '70s. Aya's friend Adjoua has a new baby, and everybody's pitching in to help take care of him, although he looks rather less like the purported father than like an irresponsible bounder by the name of Mamadou. Meanwhile, their starry-eyed friend, Bintou, is plunging into a new romance with a man whose urbane extravagance blinds her to his sneakiness. Mostly, though, this volume is about the cheerful, communitarian spirit of the place and time it sketches out-a moment of postcolonial African history when people didn't have a lot of resources (Adjoua is entering a beauty contest in the hopes of winning cooking oil for the fritters she sells), but had high hopes for the future. Oubrerie's scrappy, witty pen-and-ink artwork is a small delight: everybody's got exaggerated but subtly expressive body language and facial expressions, and the story's dashed-off but dead-on settings-with traffic blocked by wandering sheep and tin roofs near ambitious office buildings-make its tone of historical transition between tradition and modernization even more vivid. (Sept.)

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Library Journal

The witty, Jane Austenesque soap opera of Aya's community continues in this sequel to the award-winning Aya(Xpress Reviews, 12/19/07), and Ivory Coast party girls Adjoua and Bintou carry on with their adventures. The pregnant Adjoua had married rich slacker Moussa as the "father," but when the fat, wide-faced baby arrives, his paternity appears to be of farther-flung origin. On her part, Bintou sets her cap for a big spender from Paris-or so it appears. Meanwhile, Aya's father, Ignace, commutes to a faraway job, where he becomes entangled in a second life that unravels suddenly when sales of his company's beer take a nosedive. Over it all, Aya studies, babysits, observes, and tries her hand at matchmaking for Bintou's cousin Hervé. Throughout, the mating dance runs underneath, and now consequences and perfidies turn the plot more serious. With a cliff-hanger ending, this story seems to indicate at least a third volume, and we can certainly hope! As in Aya, the slice-of-life story told here paints with bittersweet humor a picture of women's lives when beauty contest winners can hope for a prize of cooking oil. Charming color art, a glossary, and a few South African cultural tidbits add extra appeal. For ages 16+.
—Martha Cornog

School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up

Picking up where Aya (Drawn & Quarterly, 2007) left off, Yop City continues the adventures of Aya, her family, and friends in prewar Ivory Coast. Adjoua is trying to convince the Sissokos that their son is her baby's father, but the truth comes out in a comedic episode. Moussa Sissoko isn't off the hook though, as his father decides it's time for him to learn the family business. Meanwhile, Adjoua's friends are spending as much time caring for the baby as she is, although Bintou thinks she has met the man of her dreams. As usual, all the action revolves around the periphery of Aya's life, but this time the drama hits closer to home at the book's end. Readers who haven't read the first volume will have a tough time following the action, as it picks up threads introduced there with little explanation. As in Aya , back matter includes more Ivorian detail such as recipes, childbirth customs, and a glossary. Oubrerie's illustrations are even more colorful than in the original and match well with the light, humorous tone of the text. An interview with the author is included. This continues to be a pleasant addition to both world literature and graphic-novel collections in its depiction of Africa as a more modern urbane place than much of the literature we see about the continent.-Jamie Watson, Harford County Public Library, MD

Product Details

Drawn & Quarterly
Publication date:
Aya Series
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

The writer Marguerite Abouet was born in Abidjan in 1971 and now lives outside Paris. The artist Clément Oubrerie was born in Paris in 1966 and has illustrated more than forty children’s books.

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Aya of Yop City 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has many plots going on at one time with many characters. You have to be somewhat knowledgeable of the culture or a lot will be lot in translation. You need to follow it closely in order to understand where the story line is leading you because of this. It ends leaving you with a feeling of what will happen. I will buy the next book to see how the story ends.
Leroy_Douresseaux More than 1 year ago
Aya of Yop City is the middle book of a trilogy. A situation comedy and drama, the series is set in the Ivory Coast in the late 1970s. It depicts middle class Africans in family and workplace situations and social settings that are not unlike those found in stories of the American middle class. There are scandals, gossip, love affairs, family squabbles, etc., but what makes this different is that we get to see black Africans as normal people and not as victims of vamine and civil war. Plus, its availablity in the U.S. makes it a rare thing - a graphic novel/ comic book with a predominately black cast. Because that, Aya of Yop City should be on public libary shelves.