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Dotter of Her Father's Eyes

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  722 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Part personal history, part biography, Dotter of Her Father''s Eyes contrasts two coming-of-age narratives: that of Lucia, the daughter of James Joyce, and that of author Mary Talbot, daughter of the eminent Joycean scholar James S. Atherton. Social expectations and gender politics, thwarted ambitions and personal tragedy are played out against two contrasting historical b ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published February 21st 2012 by Dark Horse Books (first published February 5th 2008)
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Seth Hahne
Dotter of Her Father's Eyes by Mary Talbot and Bryan Talbot

Cultural evolution is always a tricky endeavor, inevitably littering the social landscape with a detritus made of the the scattered limbs of rituals, mores, and institutions that couldn't get out of the way quickly enough. Both vanguard and old guard are sacrificed in the collision of ideals. And sometimes the casualties aren't just metaphor and social construct. Sometimes there are literal casualties—human ones.

Dotter of Her Father's Eyes relates the struggles of two such human sacrifices in t
Sam Quixote
"Dotter of Her Father's Eyes" is about the father/daughter relationships of two women - Mary Talbot, wife of Bryan Talbot (writer/artist extraordinaire of such books as Luther Arkwright, One Bad Rat, Nemesis the Warlock, Sandman, and the Grandville series), and Lucia Joyce, daughter of legendary novelist James Joyce (author of Ulysses, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Dubliners).

The book alternates between the two women at similar points in their lives from childhood to adolescence to
Alex Sarll
I knew James Joyce's daughter Lucia ended up in a madhouse, largely because that's the subject of the chapter which seemed to be holding up Alan Moore's second novel, but little else about her. Turns out a lot of her problems stem from her none-more-modernist father being terribly old-fashioned when it came to subordination of a daughter's wishes to her father's needs (though by the sound of it the mother was even more to blame). Mary Talbot's father, a Joyce scholar, was likewise beloved by the ...more
Gene Kannenberg Jr
Dotter of Her Father's Eyes is a book unlike any other I've read, a combined graphic biography (of Lucia Joyce, daughter of James Joyce) and autobiography (of the graphic novel's writer, Mary M. Talbot, daughter of Joyce scholar James S. Atherton and a respected academic in her own right). Talbot had a pretty big "in" in terms of an artist for her first graphic novel, seeing as her husband is the legendary Bryan Talbot, the award-winning creator of many comics and graphic novels, from the ground ...more
Darran Mclaughlin
This was enjoyable enough but I don't understand why it won the Costa prize for biography. If readers who wouldn't otherwise look at a graphic novel are encouraged to do so then that's great, but this isn't an outstanding example of the genre. This book covers fairly similar territory to Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, but Fun Home is much better book.

Mary Talbot recounts her childhood and teenage years growing up respectably poor in Wigan with a tyrannical Father who is a school teacher and respect
A biography and an autobiography all in one. Sort of. Mary M. Talbot is the daughter of James S Atherton, eminent Joyce scholar and author of the much acclaimed The Books at the Wake: A Study of Literary Allusions in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake and Bryan Talbot, who kindly provided the illustrations to Dotter of Her Father's Eyes, is her husband.

Mary M. Talbot compares her childhood to that of James Joyce's daughter Lucia (1907 - 1982), both fathers are preoccupied with writing and appear to ha

Dotter of Her Father's Eyes is a book of parallels. The writer, Mary Talbot is the only daughter of a (still) highly respected Joycean scholar. Upon finding his old railcard, she reminisces about her childhood and draws comparisons between it and that of Lucia Joyce, dancer daughter of James Joyce. There are small similarities (both have parents named Jim and Nora), but the main one, and indeed the focus of the book, is their troubled relationships with their fathers. Mary's is cold and emotiona

There are two things I should say before reviewing this book: one, I despise James Joyce, and two, I rarely read biographies of any sort. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed Dotter of Her Father's Eyes.
The book is really two separate biographies interwoven - the biography of author Mary Talbot and the biography of James Joyce's daughter Lucia, wich intersect in creative and unusual ways.
Talbot's story mainly focuses on her relationship with her father - a Joycean scholar and a mean, terrible,
What a sad,sad story about the constraints that are put on women who are expected to conform to a certain point of view. In this case, society is represented by the father, the patriarch of the family unit.

The two stories interwoven here parallel and contrast the story of Mary Talbot and Lucia Joyce. The latter was the daughter of author James Joyce, who was given every freedom when growing up but ended up in a mental institution for most of her life just because she wanted to stay free. The lat
Shauna Masura
Part memoir, part biography, Dotter of Her Father's Eyes is also a graphic novel with it's own brand of angst and parental disdain. Two women from different time periods, related only through their fathers interests, are compared to one another in a number of ways. The daughter of author James Joyce tries to make her way in the Parisian dance world of the 1920's, with her own promise outweighed by the genius of her father. Eventually sent to an insane asylum, she was never able to reunite with t ...more
This was a very fine graphic novel, I thought. It's actually more of a memoir. The authors are husband wife, Mary Talbot who is an academic and her husband Bryan, who is a famous illustrator of graphic novels and author of Alice in Sunderland, which I think is wonderful too. Mary's father was a leading scholar of James Joyce, but a difficult and angry man. Mary's childhood is vividly and sensitively described, in words and pictures. She takes up dancing and loves it, but has to give it up. She l ...more
This is a really moving biography told in graphic novel form - a tale of two daughters. I related completely to Mary Talbot's experiences with her distance father and the feelings finding an old buspass brought out in her when she came across it unexpectedly. I knew little about James Joyce's family life, and to watch his daughter's life unravelling was heartbreaking.

The artwork is gorgeous, the little notes from author to artist very sweet, and the overall book gorgeously presented. I gave it f
A lucid and thoughtful exploration of the parallels between the author's childhood and that of Lucia Joyce. Mary Talbot's father was a celebrated Joycean scholar, so it's difficult to not make comparisons. This undertaking also clarifies some of the Lucia legend, and makes you think that perhaps you didn't have the big picture in the first place. You find judgement needs to be reserved, and this is a lesson for you—viewpoints need to be explored before the distillation of judgement, and even the ...more
Andrea Marley
From looking at the authors notes from this graphic novel I surmise that an" International Scholar" wife and "Underground Comics Enthusiast" husband collaborated on a project so they could do something together.

I'm actually interested in James Joyce, the subject this book is very loosely based on. Unfortunately, this is another nail in the coffin that is making me want to quit graphic novels. Reading this book is akin to watching a car accident or feeling your blood pressure spike. Too much inf
Beautifully written and illustrated graphic novel. Very worthy of the attention and awards, go read it!
Heh, I might have called this "DADDY ISSUES: or Why I Have a Feminist Axe To Grind"
This book bounced back and forth between the very uninteresting WHINING
about how the author's moody bi-polar dad (a Joycean scholar) mistreated her,
and far-fetched "parallels" with James Joyce's own daughter Lucia.
At least that part was interesting,
... to a point.

Fortunately this bitter woman is married to a first-rate artist (and author) Bryan Talbot,
whose amazing art
made this more fun to read
than it shoul
Kate Forsyth
Another book I bought in London was what I can best describe as a graphic memoir/biography. Told in comic book form, the story compares the life stories of Lucia Joyce, the daughter of the famous writer James Joyce, and that of the book’s author Mary Talbot, daughter of the foremost Joycean scholar, James S. Atherton. Both narratives begin with the girls’ childhood and show their struggles to grow up in the shadows of difficult and demanding fathers. Lucia wants to dance, but is confined by the ...more
Gareth Lewry
Originally reviewed on

This is a great mix between storytelling, biography, graphic novel and history lesson. I came across this at work, thought I would give it a try, I'm glad I did. It switches between Mary and Lucia and various poignant points during each of their lives and draws uncanny parallels between then. From reading this, I have learned something new today, I learned about James Joyce and his family struggles in the 1920's and on. I also learned about Mary'
I would have enjoyed this book more if I was more familiar with James Joyce. As much as I read, I have yet to get around to reading anything by James Joyce, so some of this book may be lost on me as a result.

I did find the parallels between Talbot and her father James Atherton (a Joycean scholar), and Lucia and her father James Joyce, rather fascinating. Both women were born in times that didn't appreciate all that women can achieve, and their fathers weren't all that supportive of a woman's nee
Jan 01, 2015 Rachel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of James Joyce, fans of Bryan Talbot, book clubs
I received this as a Christmas gift from a friend, and was aware of this book only by title and the fact that the writer is married to Bryan Talbot, who frequently appears in my local paper due to his work in his Alice in Sunderland graphic novel.
I knew nothing of the story, but was certainly intrigued by the blurb.
Dotter of her Father's Eyes is partially an autobiography, following Mary Talbot's life and her relationship with her parents. It is juxtaposed by a biography of James Joyce's dancer
Interesting. I wasn't sure how to rate it, really; there is much to like here, but I'm also not entirely sure its whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Talbot's father was a Joyce scholar (he even looks a bit like Joyce, though I don't know whether that is factual or artistic)and a less than affectionate father; Joyce evidently was a less than affectionate (or at any rate an ineffectual) father whose own daughter suffered as a result of her parents' frustration of her own artistic ambition ...more
Dotter of Her Father's Eyes is a graphic novel by husband and wife team Mary and Bryan Talbot, tackling the subject of father and daughter familial relationships. The graphic novel alternates between Mary Talbot's own experiences growing up with her quick to anger father who loved the works of James Joyce, and the life story of James Joyce's daughter Lucia. Their two stories both take very different paths, yet they both feel in place in the book. The writing isn't overly fancy and Talbot writes ...more
Moira Clunie
another father-daughter relationship comic: i've been re-reading alison bechdel's 'fun home' recently and there are some striking parallels in this story with alison's literary, charming and sometimes violent father.

but this is already a comic of parallel stories: mary's relationship with her father, a joyce scholar, and the life of lucia joyce, daughter of james. the two stories interweave and link through omnipotent fathers and ambitious daughters, separated by ink tone and period fashion.

Grace Harwood
I read this one as part of my reading list for a narrative and memory course (this comes under the "Graphic memoir" section) and I absolutely loved it. I particularly liked the elements about Lucia Joyce (being as I'm limping my way through Ulysses for the moment for the same course). It really was very revelatory about how a father can ruin their child's life. The story is interweaved with the story of Talbot's own childhood with a renowned Joyce Scholar as her own "cold mad feary father". In c ...more
Danton Timahoe
In 'Dotter of Her Father's Eyes', Mary M. Talbot parallels the story of her upbringing with that of Lucia Joyce, which might have worked had there been some commonality between the two subjects. Having a father who was an eminent Joyce scholar seemed too tenuous a link. I'd rather Mary M. Talbot had left herself out of the story altogether and instead focused on the more interesting experiences of Lucia.

The artwork, by the writer's husband, Bryan Talbot isn't a patch on some of his other work. I
Mw Pm
Too much personal history, not enough biography. I should have skipped the graphic novel and stuck to the biography on Lucia Joyce (To Dance in the Wake) on which the graphic novel is based. Simply put, I didn't know what I was getting into. I thought I was reading a graphic novel about Lucia Joyce (daughter of James Joyce) but instead it turned out to be about the author of the graphic novel, who read the biography and wanted to relate how her life is similar to Lucia Joyce's (enough to create ...more
I loved the art, but I somehow only managed to click with the Lucia James story. I had no idea of her life and I really enjoyed learning about her, the relationship with her father and Samuel Becket, her dance career and her mental deterioration.

I wasn’t so keen on the Mary Talbot story or how it linked, if at all, with Lucia’s life. I did love, however, how the inaccuracies in the artwork were corrected in writing and left on the page instead of modifying the drawing altogether. A very nice tou
Edward Sullivan
A dark, poignant graphic memoir.
Ferdinand Jacquemort
Mary M. Talbot, Bryan Talbot. Vidas tristes

La historia de Lucia Joyce es conocida. Hija de James Joyce, acabó su vida en un hospital para enfermos mentales. Así, todo resulta más fácil, más rápido, más limpio. Entonces, volvemos a escribir todo esto: Hija de James Joyce, Lucia Joyce empezó a tener problemas mentales allá por mil novecientos treinta. Tratada incluso por Carl Jung, poco después será diagnosticada esquizofrénica, pasando prácticamente los últimos cincuenta años de su vida internada
Holly Cruise
Technically accomplished, artistically excellent, and at times very well told autobiography/biography from academic Mary Talbot and her comic artist husband Bryan Talbot, Dotter Of Her Father's Eyes didn't quite resonate with me as much as I had hoped it would.

It seems harsh to leap right into the book's main problem, but it's something which really struck me at the end - the book sets itself up to compare Mary Talbot's life with her tyrannical Joycean scholar father with that of James Joyce's o
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Dr Mary Talbot is the author of the graphic novel Dotter of her Father’s Eyes (Jonathan Cape 2012), illustrated by her husband, award winning comic artist Bryan Talbot. She is an internationally acclaimed scholar who has published widely on language, gender and power, particularly in relation to media and consumer culture. Dotter is the first work she has undertaken in the graphic novel format. It ...more
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