Marguerite Abouet was born in 1971 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. At the age of 12, she moved to France with her brother, under the care of their great uncle. After her education, she worked as a legal assistant before embarking on her writing career. Abouet’s significance in the literary field lies in her unique approach to telling stories of everyday life in Africa, shown through her most well-known works, the »Aya« series.
Her debut work, »Aya de Yopougon« (Eng. »Aya of Yop City«), published in 2005, is a tale of the studious Aya, her friends, and their community in Yop City. This series was created in collaboration with her husband, illustrator Clément Oubrerie. Its plot is described as »a breezy and wryly funny account of the desire for joy and freedom, and of the simple pleasures and private troubles of everyday life in Yop City«. It has been praised for presenting an alternative view of African life, with Library Journal commenting that it »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.« The series was recognized with the 2006 Best First Album award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.
Abouet’s most recent work is »Akissi« (Volume 7), another tale set in the neighborhood of Yopougon, features the daily struggles and triumphs of its inhabitants.
Beyond her writing, Abouet is known for her advocacy for a nuanced portrayal of Africa, encouraging narratives that highlight the continent’s diversity and vibrancy. Her body of work has garnered various accolades, such as the Glyph Comic Award in 2008.
The author lives in Romainville, a suburb of Paris.