My lovely friend, Louise introduced me to the wonderful world of graphic novels, specifically in French. We met when we both lived in Chile, she is from Paris and I am from London, but Spanish is our common language. Each time she visited me in London, she brought chocolate and a French graphic novel or two to keep my French up and upon visiting her in Paris, I would take her baking books, to aid her English. It was Louise who introduced me to the fantastic Ivorian series “Aya de Youpougon” by Marguerite Abouet.
Whilst in London, the week before Christmas, I took my sister out for brunch in Brixton and we popped into the BAME childrens bookshop, Knights Of! I bought my sister a book and bought myself Akissi: Tales of Mischief, this is the first book in the series. I started it one morning and finished it in 40 minutes. Akissi is a precocious, frustrated, funny and brilliant protagonist.
In a Nutshell:
A delightful book, based on Abouet’s own childhood, growing up in the Ivory Coast. I can’t wait to read more of Abouet’s work.
Childhood, identity and home
Want to read Akissi: Tales of Mischief? Buy it here.
Title: Akissi: Tales of Mischief
Written by Marguerite Abouet
Illustrated by Mathieu Sapin
Translated from the French by Judith Taboy and Marie Bédrune
01/03/2018, Flying Eye Books
#WITMonth for 2021 is curated by Jess Andoh-Thayre
I am 35, from London but currently living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I have lived in Tanzania, Chile, Spain and now Cambodia. I am married to a diplomat and we have been posted in Dar es Salaam, 🇹🇿 and now Phnom Penh 🇰🇭. Prior to married life, I had also lived in La Serena, Chile and Madrid, Spain.
I am a French, Spanish and English teacher, translator, avid reader and now blogger. When I am not teaching, reading and blogging, I love seeing a brilliant sunset, swimming and hanging out with my husband and son.
Author: Marguerite Abouet
Writer Marguerite Abouet was born in Côte d’Ivoire. At 12, she moved to Paris, where she completed her education. The first book in her acclaimed graphic novel series Aya, Aya de Yopougon, was published in 2005. Illustrated by Clément Oubrerie, the series follows the life of a teenage girl in Abidjan in the late 1970s.
Abouet has said the following in interviews : “As an African person living in France, I don’t want to see how badly the media represents the Ivory Coast,”. “The African people have enough of these very bad, miserable images of Africa that the media will show.”
Abouet currently lives in a suburb outside Paris where she writes full time and runs Des livres pour tous (Books for All), an organization that supports literacy education of disadvantaged children in Africa.