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Dotter of Her Father's Eyes [Hardcover]

Bryan Talbot , Mary M. Talbot
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Feb 2012
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 backgrounds, poignantly evoked by the atmospheric visual storytelling of award-winning graphic-novel pioneer Bryan Talbot. Produced through an intense collaboration seldom seen between writers and artists, Dotter of Her Father''s Eyes is smart, funny, and sad - an essential addition to the evolving genre of graphic memoir.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse (21 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781595828507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595828507
  • ASIN: 1595828508
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 15.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 618,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Dotter of Her Father's Eyes is doubly enjoyable for writer Mary Talbot's masterful interweaving of two father-daughter relationships and cartoonist Bryan Talbot's equally brilliant drawings, which transported me back-and-forth between gritty postwar Britain and the swinging Paris of the 20s and 30s. This is one of the best collaborative efforts I've seen in the comics medium." (Joe Sacco)

"A fascinating and original book, which will have wide appeal - not just to fathers and daughters!" (Jennifer Coates)

"[Am]bitious, entertaining and perceptive...blends a first-time script from Mary Talbot with stunning drawings and design from her husband, Bryan... It's a small triumph." (Tim Martin Daily Telegraph)

"Elegantly drawn and fluidly told, like Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir, Fun Home, this is a moving take on fathers, daughters and literature." (Tom Gatti The Times)

"Lucia Joyce's tragic descent from creativity into fragmentation is brilliantly brought home by the writing and art of the Talbot team." (Lucille Redmond Irish Times) --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Book Description

An extraordinary new graphic memoir about James Joyce, fathers and daughters. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Babbos and dotters 8 Feb 2012
By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER
"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 adulthood and shows parallels between them and their fathers. Mary's father was an eminent James Joyce scholar whose work "The Books at the Wake" remains the best book written analysing Joyce's incredibly difficult novel "Finnegan's Wake", and in turn an equally difficult man to get along with. Mary details her clashes with her dad who was mentally abusive to her while growing up, often belittling her achievements and dreams.

Lucia's father wasn't abusive - Joyce was too wrapped up in his own writings to be that way - and he was generally quite involved in raising his daughter, but when she became a young woman wanting to become a professional dancer and start an independent career, Joyce and his shrill wife forbade it to the point where she became so frustrated she threw a chair at her mother. Incredibly this incident led to her becoming institutionalised, a forced way of life that she would never escape until her death.

Mary Talbot's writing is superb and she brings to life her story with warmth and candour, perfectly matching her husband's artwork in tone and mood. The book is enthralling to read and, for Mary, ultimately a happy ending.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Daughter's re-Joycing 20 Nov 2012
What is it about graphic narratives and family memoirs?!! Dotter of Her Father's Eyes is a worthy addition to such great graphic matremoirs and patremoirs as Alison Bechdel's Fun Home and Are You My Mother?, Ross Mackintosh's Seeds, Seth's Bannock, Beans and Black Tea, David Small's Stitches, Art Spiegelman's Maus, and Carol Tyler's You'll Never Know. As Alison Bechdel does in her two books, Mary Talbot uses literature and a literary life as a template against which to measure part of her own. Where Bechdel used writers such as Fitzgerald, James, Joyce, Wilde and Woolf, Talbot limits herself to Joyce and his relationship with his daughter, Lucia. The title of her book is a fitting, playful reference to both Joyce and her own father. And what better illustrator for a Joyce themed narrative than Mary's husband, Bryan Talbot, creator of the amazing Alice in Sunderland. After all, it's a small step from Lewis Carroll to James Joyce. Once again, Bryan's inventive, gritty artwork works wonders in animating social history. Husband and wife can be very proud of this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'My cold mad feary father' 5 Jan 2013
By Eleanor TOP 500 REVIEWER
Mary Talbot's father was a prominent James Joyce scholar who was beloved by his students for his warmth and enthusiasm. At home, however, his main modes were terrible anger and sarcasm. In this graphic memoir written by Mary Talbot and illustrated by her husband Bryan, Mary's life is interspersed with that of Lucia Joyce a talented dancer and illustrator (although this latter activity is not mentioned) who is shown as having her ambitions thwarted by her own controlling family.

"Dotter of her Father's Eyes" is a compelling and moving work, which also displays great warmth and humour. Bryan Talbot's illustrations are beautiful: shades of grey and black for Lucia's story and sepia enhanced with colour for Mary's. The husband and wife pairing works very well and some of my favourite parts of the memoir involved Mary's marginal comments on her husband's illustrations.

"Dotter of her Father's Eyes" came to my attention after it was shortlisted (and later won) the Costa biography award. It is a worthy winner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever, moving and well done 22 April 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my middle daughter who's a very big Joyce fan. She really enjoyed it and so I've read it - in one go, just like my daughter. The author's Father is best known for his book on Finnigan's Wake and this book sets her childhood (not easy) against Lucia Joyce's - even less easy. The style of writing and the illustrations compliment each other and the twin stories. Unlike the author's, Lucia's life was very sad and this book is pretty moving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of the Artist's Wife 11 Jan 2014
By Sandman
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have consistently enjoyed Bryan Talbot's work from Luther Arkwright and his Underground stuff to the Grandville books. His artwork was always outstanding and has developed over the decades while remaining instantly recognisable as his. He has added quality artwork to the likes of Sandman and 2000AD.

His writing is at least as accomplished as his art. "The Tale of One Bad Rat" is one of the very few comics that has actually made me cry, and deserved every plaudit and award it picked up. He also demonstrated a scholarly side in "Alice in Sunderland".

"Dotter of Her Father's Eyes" is something different though as it is a collaboration with his wife Mary, a published author and scholar in her own right. Bryan's art is right up to standard, and Mary's script is a worthy match. The book is a labour of love that describes Mary's upbringing in austere post-war Britain, while drawing parallels with that of Lucia, daughter of James Joyce during the 1920s, mostly in Paris. There is also a framing narrative concerning the present-day Mary and Bryan. Each of these narratives is depicted in its own distinct graphic style.

Both the main story-lines are interesting in their own right, describing troubled relationships between father and daughter, with very different outcomes. Mary's is eventually much happier, covering her courtship with a funny, naive young Bryan, the birth of their children, and featuring friends including one Chester (who may be connected to the protagonist of the same name in Bryan's early Underground comix!).

Lucia's life unfortunately is much more tragic: a talent and passion for dance thwarted by the demands of her unsympathetic parents, resulting in breakdowns and institutionalisation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
This is ok - not brilliant, but ok.
Published 1 month ago by FredGumbo1
4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps a little too hard on Samuel Beckett
OK I like Joyce, and yes I also have always liked Bryan Talbot's artwork in Luther Arkwright and a range of 2000AD strips, so therefore something that combines the two of these... Read more
Published 7 months ago by P. J. Dunn
5.0 out of 5 stars A Duaghter's Tribute to her Father
This is a lovely book full of childish insights into the world of adults. lovingly put together and excellent value for money.
Published 8 months ago by Christopher J.W.Hawthorne
4.0 out of 5 stars Yep, her father was a nutter all right...
Picked this up in the wake of a slew of reviews - definitely a worthwhile read, but not a book that one returns to. Grim stuff even in graphic novel format. Read more
Published 13 months ago by KJW
3.0 out of 5 stars No change in my scepticism about graphic books
I am not at all sure about graphic novels- let alone graphic memoirs. Having everything laid in front of you- images and words- seems to me somehow to lessen the imaginative... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Peter D
5.0 out of 5 stars an autobiographical novel very special
"Dotter" is a graphic novel delicate, demanding and very evocative, with two levels of reading. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mario B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I can't wait for their next one. Great text and illistrations. I really recommend it. What more can I say (why do you want such long reviews???)
Published 15 months ago by C. Cox
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book
Read this book in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is moving and subtle and has interesting shifts in time. The drawings are clear and warm. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Marigold
5.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of the artist's wife as a young woman
I knew almost nothing of Dotter of her Father's Eyes, other than it was illustrated by the brilliant Bryan Talbot. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Quicksilver
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable read
Thought-provoking and beautiful intersection of lives woven across time and relationships between father and daughter. A beautiful book to own, enjoy and cherish.
Published 18 months ago by Mrs. C. A. Cash
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