Ann-Marie Priest reviews 'The Joyce Girl' by Annabel Abbs

In 1934, Lucia Joyce, then in her late twenties, entered analysis with Carl Jung, at the behest of her father, James Joyce. She had been in and out of psychiatric care for several years, but it was still not clear exactly what was wrong with her – if anything. A few years earlier, as a dancer in the Isadora Duncan style, she had been thought to have a genius akin to her father’s. Her biographer, Carol Loeb Shloss, considers that the arts of father and daughter were connected: that Lucia embodied the fluid self Joyce so painstakingly constructed in his fiction. Yet here was Joyce handing his beloved daughter over to a man who was openly hostile to Joyce’s literary experiments, which he saw as an attack on sanity.

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Published in December 2016, no. 387

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