Finished: Jan. 14, 2012
First Published: Feb. 21. 2012
Publisher: Dark Horse
Genre: Graphic Novel, memoir, biography, history
Now where's that railcard?Publisher's Summary: "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."
Acquired: Received an egalley from the publisher through Net Galley..
Reason for Reading: I am a big fan of graphic memoirs and biographies.
A totally engaging story about two female figures, each with their own claim to fame, and yet not readily recognizable to the world at large. The book is a mixture of b/w when telling the story of Lucia Joyce (James Joyce's daughter), b/w with bits of colour for the story of the author's childhood and full colour when in the author's present. This along with the text easily helps the reader to know what time period/whose story is being told. The author's story of her upbringing with a moody father who becomes more and more domineering and angry is a riveting one made even more so when contrasted with that of Lucia Joyce's upbringing by a father who was very much temporally similar to her own. This holds special interest when one father was an eminent scholar of the other.
I found the story compelling and page-turning. I don't know much about Joyce myself, except that he lead a colourful life. I'm not exactly a fan; I have read one book, "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" and have no desire to read any of his other work, but I do still find the lives of people from his era fascinating from a social history aspect. I enjoyed the female leads (though the author manages to use a few frames to espouse her own anti-Catholic bigotry) and how they were affected by the eras they lived in simply by being female, how they rebelled against the norms of their times and what it did to them, or how they settled. Both women's stories contain tragedy and triumph though not both in the same order. Highly recommended, whether you have an interest in James Joyce or not, as the story is more focused on the female experience in ages past.