Priestdaddy: A Memoir (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

This is the funniest book I've ever read. Poet Patricia Lockwood's memoir is wacky and touching. She intersperses this hilarious tale of the midwest with beautiful images, life learned, and compelling portraits of her close family, most notably her bizarre father, who happens to be a Catholic priest.

-- Adam

— From Adam F. Staff Picks

This book had me laughing from the very first page, giggling on the train home with no shame. The very next day I was crying in the office on my lunch break as I finished the book. You get the whole spectrum of emotions with this one! The best memoir I've read in a long time.


— From Caitlin L. Staff Picks



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.

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. Lockwood lives in Lawrence, Kansas.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781594633737
ISBN-10: 1594633738
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017
Pages: 352
Language: English