Wednesday, 22 February 2012

A classic biography with a new twist

An intriguing graphic novel, ‘Dotter of her father’s eye’ is the story of two father/daughter relationships. One is that of the a semi-autobiographical account of the writer whose father was a James Joyce expert. The other is of James Joyce and his daughter. I am not a fan of James Joyce, so I didn’t quite get a lot of the references, however, I don’t think that is important to appreciate this book. It’s quite a feminist tale; both protagonists are trying to do things that are not necessary acceptable to the older generation in terms of what women should be like. I did prefer the James Joyce story to the modern one, but that’s because there is more of an emotional undercurrent to it. This is Mary Talbot’s first foray into graphic novel writing, and I am intrigued to see how she follows this book up.

The artwork by Bryan Talbot, is as always really well done and conveys a lot of emotion. The only issue I had was that sometimes it took me a while to work out which girl’s story I was reading. The solution is to remember their hairstyles.
This would be good for any reading group who are reading a James Joyce book. It just shows a different side to the man and the effect he had on those around him. It would probably be a good first graphic novel for those book clubs who enjoy the modern classics. Please note, this is not for children.

No comments: