Dotter of Her Father's Eyes

Dotter of Her Father's Eyes

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by Mary M. Talbot
     
 

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Part personal history, part biography, Dotter of Her Father's Eyes contrasts two comingofage 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

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Overview

Part personal history, part biography, Dotter of Her Father's Eyes contrasts two comingofage 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 backgrounds, poignantly evoked by the atmospheric visual storytelling of awardwinning graphicnovel pioneer Bryan Talbot. Produced through an intense collaboration seldom seen between writers and artists, Dotter of Her Father's Eyes is smart, funny, and sadan essential addition to the evolving genre of graphic memoir.

* Bryan Talbot is recognized worldwide as one of the true original voices in graphic fiction.

* Bryan Talbot's Grandville Mon Amour was nominated for a 2011 Hugo Award.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this graphic memoir, Mary S. Talbot intertwines two coming-of-age stories and constructs a powerful narrative about family, gender, and identity at two very different moments in the 20th century. Talbot, the daughter of Joycean scholar, James Atherton, parallels her own upbringing with that of James Joyce’s daughter, Lucia. Though Talbot’s relationship with her father was a source of conflict in her life—a relationship that was alternately characterized by affection, anger, and indifference—it was not nearly as tragic as the story of Lucia Joyce, a young woman who wanted more than what the sexual politics of the early modernist period and her dysfunctional family were willing to afford her. The narrative does a remarkable job at taking a close, critical look at the distinction between our public and our private selves, and how we can sometimes win the admiration of everyone but those closest to us. Talbot’s illustrations show exceptional dexterity in moving from the monochromatic past to the more colorful present, with the changing color palette suggesting the changing social climate for women. Those looking for a graphic memoir that provides an insightful study of how 20th-century sexual politics played out on the home front will be hard pressed to do better than the present title. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Offering a double helping of James Joyce's offspring, the Talbots contrast the life of Joyce's biological daughter, Lucia (born 1907), with that of author Mary Talbot (born 1954), a literary sister from another mister: Joycean scholar James S. Atherton. Both had culturally rich but difficult childhoods with difficult fathers; both chafed under rules about what girls "should" do. Mary escaped, gained success as an author and scholar of language and gender, and found love from a supportive mate. Lucia found neither. Her dance career was sabotaged by her family, her psycho-stability was assaulted by the Joyce ménage's relocations per James's needs, and her romances foundered. Lucia developed schizophrenia as she neared age 30 and spent her remaining years in mental institutions. Bryan Talbot's realistic line drawings portray the girls' stories with different color schemes and faux scrapbook details, enhancing clarity and visual interest. VERDICT In their life's work, both women drew much from their fathers' legacies despite roadblocks, but only Mary realized her dream. This poignant, historically relevant cautionary tale makes excellent classroom fodder for gender-related curricula and will appeal to young women exploring their own futures. Adult collections and fine for high schoolers.—M.C.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595828507
Publisher:
Dark Horse Comics
Publication date:
02/29/2012
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
708,509
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.60(d)

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