The Washington Post * Elle * NPR * New York Magazine * Boston Globe * Nylon * Slate * The Cut * The New Yorker * Chicago Tribune "Affectionate and very funny . Read more...
The Washington Post * Elle * NPR * New York Magazine * Boston Globe * Nylon * Slate * The Cut * The New Yorker * Chicago Tribune "Affectionate and very funny . . . wonderfully grounded and authentic. This book proves Lockwood to be a formidably gifted writer who can do pretty much anything she pleases." - The New York Times Book Review From Patricia Lockwood--a writer acclaimed for her wildly original voice--a vivid, heartbreakingly funny memoir about balancing identity with family and tradition. 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.
- ISBN-13: 9781594633737
- ISBN-10: 1594633738
- Publisher: Riverhead Books
- Publish Date: May 2017
- Page Count: 352
- Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
An unforgettable coming-of-age story
Some people are born to write, and one of those people is Patricia Lockwood, who knew at age 6 that she would be a poet. In the final chapter of Priestdaddy, her debut memoir, Lockwood—whose poem “Rape Joke” won her a Pushcart Prize in 2015—marvels at her own forcefulness: “On the page I am strong, because that is where I put my strength.” In this brilliant and heartbreakingly funny book, the poet returns to her childhood home and offers the story of her unconventional Catholic upbringing and her larger-than-life parents.
Lockwood’s father, believe it or not, is a Catholic priest who converted to the faith after he was married. In such circumstances, there is a celibacy loophole, and Lockwood and her four siblings grew up on rectory grounds in St. Louis and Cincinnati, which Lockwood loyally refers to as “the worst cities in the Midwest.” When she became a teenager, she fell in love on the internet and ran away to marry Jason, which, miraculously, turned out to be a great decision. In adulthood, however, the couple fell on hard times and found themselves moving back in with Lockwood’s parents—her guitar-strumming, boxer-shorts-wearing, holy and emotionally aloof father and her paranoid, accommodating and lyrical mother. Surrounded by the vestiges of her childhood, Lockwood begins thinking anew about identity, place, religion, girlhood and poetry—always poetry.
This is a book that will transport the reader deep into Lockwood’s zany and appealing point of view. The sheer authority of the prose will occasionally take the reader’s breath away. To say I could not put the book down does not do it justice, nor would quotations from the dozens of pages that struck me as beautiful and unforgettable and weird. Do yourself a favor and read this memoir.