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Dotter of Her Father's Eyes

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  1,198 Ratings  ·  201 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 T.
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
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
Dov Zeller
What do two women, one born in 1907 to James Joyce and Nora Barnacle, and the other born in 1954 to James S. and Nora Atherton, have in common? Have they led strangely parallel lives, and if so, how are these parallels intriguing, instructive or clarifying?

That is the mystery set up at the beginning of this book by an odd, fairy tale opening.

Once upon a time
And long ago
A King and Queen
Had a daughter
Her name was
Or Lucia
Or Lucy Maria
Or Mary.

But this opening confuses me, with its flippanc
Sam Quixote
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
"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
David Schaafsma
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gn-memoir, gn-women
Interesting tale of two daughters, both sort of cast off or neglected or verbally abused by their famous fathers, one, Lucia, daughter of James Joyce, tragically lost due to parental mistreatment; the other, Mary Talbot, the author and feminist literary critic, the daughter of a famed Joyce scholar, also maligned and mistreated. Ironic, in the authors are so highly esteemed by the world, and yet so mired in patriarchal conceptions of women and girls. Interesting stories, and sad, with art by Bry ...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
Graphic novel in which Mary Talbot draws the parallels between her own life and that of Lucia Joyce. Lucia was the daughter of Nora and James Joyce, a talented athlete and dancer. Mary, also something of a toyboy, struggled to connect with her own father, an eminent Joycean scholar. This was a quick and engaging read.
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
Bryan Talbot creates some really amazing sequential art. Grandville is a highlight of my graphic novel reading history. Alice in Sunderland is an amazing monsterwork.

Apparently, Mary Talbot is both Bryan Talbot's wife AND an academic expert on things like feminism and teen magazines and other things I'd enjoy studying.

This book is partially an autobiography of Mary (drawn by Bryan) and sort of a biography of the daughter of James Joyce. The two stories run parallel with different color schemes
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sarah Laing
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was very clever in its structure - the way that Mary Talbot's story was told in the present and the past, also interweaving Lucia Joyce's story. The strands were differentiated by colour - sepia, blue tones and full colour. I wanted more I think - the story was a bit slight at 89 pages and the present felt a bit like bracketing. But still - the Lucia story was fascinating, and the common thread of tyrannical fathers was very engaging. Lucia was another creative woman who ended up in an asyl ...more
 Adriana ♩♪
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a unique and beautiful graphic novel. The story, which is a biography, approaches the father-daughter relationship and the role of women in society.
Rachel Louise Atkin
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a really well written and interesting graphic novel! I loved learning more about Joyce and his daughter because I wasn't aware of her story. Beckett, Ezra Pound and Man Ray make an appearance too which is cool. Don't think I'd read this again but it's a lovely story and if you are interested in Modernism and Joyce this is definitely for you.
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Juan Jiménez García
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
Jan 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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

Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
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
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
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
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,
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
B. Talbot's art style is warm and engaging, and I enjoyed the two author's small diversions into aspects of their own relationship. Though, the lasting note of their marriage in the novel is Mary's horrific childbirthing experience and sudden plunge into motherhood, which jars with the creative and happy collaborative relationship that the book's existence evidences. In general I would have preferred much more detail of Mary's later life and career, to form a more poignant contrast with Lucia Jo ...more
Dioni (Bookie Mee)
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dotter of her Father's Eyes won the Costa Book Award for Biography in 2012, which is no mean feat for a graphic novel. I read The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot a few years ago, and in Dotter he collaborated with his wife Mary M Talbot (he the illustrator, and she the writer).

This book contrasts the biography of Mary M Talbot herself, with that of Lucia Joyce - the daughter of James Joyce. Mary's father James S. Atherton is a dedicated Joycean scholar. So this is a story of two daughters an
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
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written and illustrated graphic novel. Very worthy of the attention and awards, go read it!
Edward Sullivan
A dark, poignant graphic memoir.
Nov 21, 2016 rated it liked it
We Americans have just endured another presidential campaign, which means we have seen some of the meanest and basest behaviors to which we can sink, most notably in how people portray themselves and their adversaries (in words+pictures) when they want you on their side. I think one of the most believable explanations for the low voter turnout in the 2016 general election is that many people were convinced that "They're all liars and crooks."

After reading this coming-of-age book about Lucia ("lo
Praveen Palakkazhi
An interesting memoir with some really pleasing artwork. Mary Talbot and her husband Bryan combine to produce this work which interleaves incidents from Mary’s own growing up years and her relationship with her father and of Lucia Joyce, daughter of famed writer James Joyce (of Ulysess fame).

Mary’s father is a famed Joycean scholar and respected among his peers and in professional circles, but at home he increasingly becomes distant, angry, snide and keeps a sarcastic undertone for most of his i
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Dotter of her Father’s Eyes is one of the more interesting comics to have been released recently, and it starts with the way the title is set out. On the book it is “Dotter of her Father’s Eyes”, a lower case “h”, where one would normally expect “Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes”. It’s a small thing, and something I only noticed when I was looking at the cover as I started to write this, but it’s a good example of how much this book rewards close and repeated readings. The lower case here is signific ...more
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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
More about Mary M. Talbot...