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Dotter of her Father's Eyes

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  1,560 ratings  ·  239 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 bac ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published 2012 by Jonathan Cape (first published February 5th 2008)
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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Seth T.
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
"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
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The art isn’t top shelf and the story is a bit slow in places but it was a bit entertaining. A woman finds her father’s passport and remembers her childhood. Her father was emotionally absent. Meanwhile her father is more interested in the life of the daughter of a poet’s life.
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
Dave Schaafsma
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I'm not sure this book hangs together very well. And the author's own story sort of begs for more examination. But I did enjoy the story of Lucia Joyce. ...more
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Graphic novel that juxtaposes the life story of the author, Mary Talbot, and Lucia Joyce, dancer and daughter of James Joyce. Talbot's father was a Joyce scholar, so this work captures that feeling of finding a connection with someone else's biography with special poignancy. It is shocking how terrible the Joyce family is at supporting their daughter's talent; Talbot's father exhibits his own emotional distance in different style, but I felt like the jump in the author's own life from student to ...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.
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
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
Sarah Laing
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rachel Louise Atkin
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. ...more
Ok, so here's the thing about Dotter of Her Father's Eyes: I don't think it's particularly successful as a graphic novel/memoir. I don't think it reveals very much at all about Mary Talbot's life (or her father's life, either), and as such I'm quite confused about the rationale for writing a memoir in the first place. I'm not crazy about the art style. There's little connection, flow, or interaction between its two narrative lines. And the collaborative relationship between writer/wife and illus ...more
Great memoir entwining the lives of two women: Lucia Joyce, daughter of *the* James Joyce, and Mary Talbot, daughter of one of the most preeminent Joyce scholars.

Brutal to read at times given the abusive nature of both women's upbringing, and expertly drawn by Bryan Talbot*, Mary's husband.

Highly recommended.

*It was only after I finished reading it that I realized I'd already read another of his works and recently to boot. He's also the creative force behind "Grandville" which I read earlier th
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: university
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
Jan 10, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Scholar Mary Talbot reflects on her troubled relationship with her father, a renowned Joycean expert, and searches for parallels between her life and that of James Joyce's daughter Lucia, whose passion for dance was ultimately thwarted by institutionalization. Mary supplies the text of these intertwined coming-of-age narratives, while her husband, Bryan, illustrates the stories.

The narrative here does not flesh out the point of laying these tales side-by-side; the reader is left to draw his or h
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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)
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  ·  review of another edition
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
I saw the Talbots’ name on another book and grew curious, and since my library carried this book, I got it to sample their style of drawing and story telling - I liked them both.
The subject of this book is Lucia Joyce, James Joyce’s daughter, and her story is almost heart-wrenching- a talented girl forced to give up her career due to the pressures from the society and finally living her life being committed because of the madness induced by lack of a career - of course, everyone from my generati
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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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