Marguerite Abouet was born in 1971 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in Western Africa. She grew up during a time of great prosperity in the Ivory Coast. At the age of twelve, she and her old brother went to stay with a great-uncle in Paris, where they further pursued their education. Years later, after becoming a novelist for young adults, Abouet was drawn to telling the story of the world she remembered from her youth. The result was the graphic novel Aya de Yopougon, published in North America as Aya, illustrated by Clemént Oubrerie, that recalls Abouet's Ivory Coast childhood in the 1970s, and tells the humorous, engaging stories of her friends and family as they navigate a happy and prosperous time in that country's history.