Patricia Lockwood is incapable of nothing but the expected, and this spit-take-inducing memoir of familial eccentricity proves it on every page. The peculiarities of clannish ritual, dialect, gastronomy, and especially faith are dissected with compassion and an impish charm that is irreducibly Lockwoodian. Flagrantly imaginative and heck-bent on hilarity, Priestdaddy is a wonder. Recommended By Justin W., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
From Patricia Lockwood — a writer acclaimed for her wildly original voice — a vivid, heartbreakingly funny memoir about having a married Catholic priest for a father.
"Destined to be a classic... this year’s must-read memoir." — Mary Karr, author of The Liars’ Club
Father Greg Lockwood is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met — a man who lounges in boxer shorts, loves action movies, and whose constant jamming on the guitar reverberates "like a whole band dying in a plane crash in 1972." His daughter is an irreverent poet who long ago left the Church’s country. When an unexpected crisis leads her and her husband to move back into her parents’ rectory, their two worlds collide.
In Priestdaddy, Lockwood interweaves emblematic moments from her childhood and adolescence — from an ill-fated family hunting trip and an abortion clinic sit-in where her father was arrested to her involvement in a cultlike Catholic youth group — with scenes that chronicle the eight-month adventure she and her husband had in her parents’ household after a decade of living on their own. Lockwood details her education of a seminarian who is also living at the rectory, tries to explain Catholicism to her husband, who is mystified by its bloodthirstiness and arcane laws, and encounters a mysterious substance on a hotel bed with her mother.
Lockwood pivots from the raunchy to the sublime, from the comic to the deeply serious, exploring issues of belief, belonging, and personhood. Priestdaddy is an entertaining, unforgettable portrait of a deeply odd religious upbringing, and how one balances a hard-won identity with the weight of family and tradition.
"I’m an agnostic, but I truly believe that we are all blessed by Patricia Lockwood’s decision to lend her amazing facility for language to prose with Priestdaddy. It’s a hilarious book full of heavy truths; a wonderful study of one of life’s most precious resources – beautiful weirdos." Andy Richter
"Patricia Lockwood’s side-splitting Priestdaddy puts the poetry back in memoir. Her verbal verve creates a reading experience of effervescent joy, even as Lockwood takes you through some of her life’s darker passages. Destined to be a classic, Priestdaddy is this year’s must-read memoir." Mary Karr, author of The Liars’ Club
"A richly textured story of an unconventional family and life... Funny, tender, and profane, Lockwood’s complex story moves with lyrical ease between comedy and tragedy as it explores issues of identity, religion, belonging, and love. A linguistically dexterous, eloquently satisfying narrative debut." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Funny and gorgeously written, with scenes so witty and zany they could be lifted from a Broadway show, Priestdaddy will be one of the major prose debuts of the year." The Huffington Post
"Wildly entertaining…[Patricia Lockwood’s] humor and poetic descriptions are both impressively prolific, every sentence somehow funnier than the one you just read." New York Magazine’s The Cut
About the Author
Patricia Lockwood was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and raised in all the worst cities of the Midwest. She is the author of two poetry collections, Balloon Pop Outlaw Black and Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, a New York Times Notable Book. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Slate, and The London Review of Books. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas.