Aya Cissoko, France

Aya Cissoko was born in Paris in 1978. Her parents were immigrants from Mali. Her successful sports career as a repeat amateur champion in boxing ended with a serious sports accident. After her recovery she reinvented herself, received a scholarship, and studied at the famous Institut d'études politiques in Paris. She also started to write (again).

Aya Cissoko's expressive texts give extraordinary insights into the contradictions and opportunities for immigrants in France. Her novels Danbé and N’ba have a realistic, seemingly effortless narration style and tell the stories of two successful women’s lives with a focus on the concept of dignity. Aya Cissoko lives with her family in Paris. This summer, she will debut as an actress at the Avignon Theater Festival.

Aya Cissoko will be accompanied by Sibylle Weingart, language specialist for Francophone literature at the International Youth Library.

© Foto: Calmann-Lévy Verlag