cover image Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes

Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes

Mary S. Talbot and Bryan Talbot. Dark Horse, $14.99 (96p) ISBN 978-1-59582-850-7

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.)