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Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  91 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
In this ground breaking work Carol Shloss shows the extraordinary influence that James Joyce's daughter Lucia exercised on her father's emotions and work. "This is a story that was not supposed to be told", writes Shloss who transforms Lucia from the "mad daughter", and a footnote in her father's life, to a creative kindred spirit.
Paperback, 576 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Picador (first published December 10th 2003)
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Max Nemtsov
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Великолепная и жуткая книга — едва ли не самая полезная из того био-библиографического, что я читал в последние годы (если честно, то не с чем даже сравнить). Ну, это, в общем, несколько феминистская и неофилософская реконструкция того, что случилось с Лючией Джойс, основанная на текстологическом анализе «Финнеганов» и на тех немногих огрызках документов, что остались у нас вопреки упырям-наследникам. Что же там было на самом деле, мы, вероятно, не узнаем никогда, даже если дождемся смерти внука ...more
Elizabeth Madden
Informative on the subject of Lucia's life and the mutual influences (Joyce & Lucia). Given so little written "evidence" about Lucia's thoughts/ experiences exists, as her letters and other writings have been destroyed/suppressed, I think Ms Loeb-Shloss does a very creditable job. As a Joycean, I certainly feel a lot better informed about Lucia than I was prior to reading this. Nora/Brenda Maddox "fans" have attacked the book,making strong complints about "Anti-Nora" bias/"unfair" attributio ...more
Diann Blakely
ULYSSES, Joyce once boasted, is so replete with puzzles and enigmas that "it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that's the only way of insuring one's immortality." Surely the most heartbreaking—and the most unintentional—enigma Joyce left behind was his own notoriously troubled daughter, Lucia, the subject of Schloss's biography. Was Lucia schizophrenic, Schloss asks, or was her behavior the result of living by—and living out—the fractured puzzle of langua ...more
Jun 30, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was very disappointed with this book: Lucia Joyce, James Joyce's famously disturbed only daughter led a fascinating life. Loeb Schloss, however, disturbs the story with irrelevant hypotheticals and speculation, imagines scenarios that didn't actually happen in attempts at thought experiments, and generally butchers a story interesting enough on its own.

It is a particular shame because this book has become the poster child for the battle against the James Joyce estate, who keeps a very tight l
Mandee Forehand
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was astounded, intrigued, and saddened by the accounts of mistreatment she received, not only by her doctors but by her own family. I have questions that may never be answered, assumptions that may never be verified, and a curiosity that will probably never be extinguished. I am now on a quest to read everything I can get my hands on in order to quench this thirst.
Oct 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lucia Joyce is one of the most fascinating people that ever existed. This book contains rare photographs and exciting insights into her mysterious, strange life.
Jun 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Unfortunately I do not have a strong background where James Joyce is concerned and this was a handicap since there were many words spent in this book on Finnegan's Wake for which Lucia Joyce, his daughter, served both as muse and subject. While I appreciate the intensive research required for this book, it was tough going. I was interested in Lucia's life as a dancer, and it was painful to learn that this vital stream to her life was dead ended and that other opportunities for her creative expre ...more
May 24, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The tenuous lines between in/sanity/genius, art/family/obligation. Lucia Joyce is fascinating not just in relation to her father and their relationship, but also as a dancer whose sanity was questioned and in the end, decided for her by her family. the book is too long for the amount of actual information that exists about lucia-it is written like a thesis with enormous amounts of secondary sources and extraneous information, but the core is incredibly interesting. although the author makes it a ...more
Capili April
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its subject alone makes it worth reading: the books tells the story of Lucia, Joyce's daughter, who was considered mentally ill and spent most of her life in institutions. But it relates a narrative that has been kept hidden or ignored by Joyce's biographers: Lucia was an artist in her own right, one whose life was sacrificed for the sake of her father's genius. This pokes holes in the simplistic view that she simply went mad. There are also very controversial suggestions--many of them hard to p ...more
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
A long, interesting look into the Joyce family and the time and places they lived. This book is well researched and detailed and the author tells the reader when there is no or scanty information, as many documents were destroyed.
Was Lucia mad? I don't think she would be locked up today. It did sound like she was pretty neurotic and also very repressed by the society and her family's expectations.
The author speculates quite a bit, it's sort of a psycho-biography, which I enjoyed very much. She
David Markwell
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating look at Lucia Joyce and her life. Daughter of James Joyce and an accomplished dancer she suffered from madness that would eventually take her life. Joyce felt that her madness was his gift without an outlet. My reading of Finnegans Wake was heavily influenced by this book (I am not sure Joyce would have it any other way). A great read.
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A carefully researched and moving biography of Lucia Joyce the disturbed and disturbing daughter of James Joyce. She danced like a silver fish with Paris's lost generation but slowly lost her own way through love affairs and personal disappointment, almost drowning in the wake of her father, abandoned by the rest of her family and unable to fulfil the brilliant ambition of her youth.
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed. This book is not quite academic enough to be a textbook, but at the same time not interesting enough to be an enjoyable read. Which is a shame since the subject matter is so fascinating.
Katie O
I want to take it as the pure truth but I know much of the historical evidence has been destroyed. I still love reading about this brilliant and fascinating young woman. Working on a show about Finnegan's Wake, ALP and Lucia right now!
Meg Wallace
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating look at James Joyce's talented and troubled daughter. What an incredible world she lived in, sadly in a time when dealing with any mental illness or trouble meant locking one up in an institution indefinitely.
Oct 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2007
A life of the genius's daughter.
Mar 01, 2013 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Just watched the mivie Nora with Ewan MacGregor as Joyce. Didn't want to read the Nora biography nor one just about Joyce. Lucia dated Samuel Beckett and was a patient of Jung.
Feb 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting bio - the daughter of a great genius hidden in the shadows until now.
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