Aya of Yop City
ISBN: 1897299419 Global Overview for this book
5 journalers for this copy...
or a flower plucked
from the Jerry Springer show.
With a heavy net and putting tacky on the ground, I got as many of those little bastards for a trade before they all ran away! TT-TT
I lost several good ones in the battle... TT-TT
But in the chaos and dusty sunset's light, this is one I trade to her for those little wild beasts of hers~
This one looks like an intriguing cross-cultural graphic novel.
Later: Very enjoyable book! Turns out this is a follow-on to the 2007 collection Aya, but I found it easy enough to pick up on the plot-threads here without having read the first book. (The family-tree character-guide up front did help!) The setting is a small community in the Côte d'Ivoire town of Abidjan in the late 1970's, and I was glad to see examples of ordinary life in this part of Africa.
There are several plot-threads involving different families, but the threads cross and tangle as the characters interact. This volume opens with delighted family members gathering around Adjoua's new baby - admiring the child even as they speculate as to which family member it most resembles. This leads to an increasingly goofy subplot as it becomes clear that the baby looks nothing like Adjoua's fiance, the young (and clueless) Moussa, but looks a great deal like another character... The reader will be clued in to all this well before most of the characters figure it out, but I found that part of the fun.
Aya herself, while seemingly among the more clever characters - she wants to go to school to become a doctor if only she can convince her father Ignace to permit it - does seem a bit naive about her father's "business dealings"; again, the reader will work it out long before Aya does, but eventually Ignace's sins come home to roost, quite literally!
There are lots of delightful bits of business surrounding the everyday lives of the people, whether contemplating an upcoming beauty contest or fretting over the risk of a major local business being shut down. We see one awkward teen boy struggling to learn more than his garage-mechanic job requires, and another boy, also awkward but far too privileged, demonstrating his laziness and fecklessness when he's given a chance to shine. And the parents, siblings, cousins, uncles and aunts all chime in with opinions, advice, support, and sometimes sabotage, but usually with affection.
The bonus material includes a glossary of terms, a recipe for Chicken Kedjenou (which one of the characters claims is his secret to attracting women), and instructions for wrapping a baby in a pagne so as to carry it around on one's back in comfort.
[There's an animated 2013 film adaptation that I'd like to see.]
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
*** Released as part of the 2015 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***
*** Released as part of the 2015 Movie release challenge. ***
Later, I really enjoyed this. Tried to write a review immediately after reading, but apparently it didn't get saved. It was surprising to me to read about Africa as a relatable and middle class place. It was interesting to see what the newly independent Africa was like. Though the roles of women felt constrained compared to what's available in my life, it was really interesting to read the interview with the writer that is included in the book: she makes clear how many good changes there have been for women in one generation. Also, it was interesting to be able to see what the dual-country life is like for young people living in both Africa and France.
My only complain is that this is part of a series. Hopefully I will get to read on and find out what will happen to Aya and her friends: what will Aya's father do? Who is Albert's secret love? When will Bintou wise up? Who will be crowned Miss Yopougon?
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
WILD RELEASE NOTES: