Priestdaddy: A Memoir (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Logo
Priestdaddy: A Memoir Cover Image
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Staff Reviews

I didn't get far in Priestdaddy before realizing I needed to take a vow of sorts: I could not allow myself to read it in public, to spare strangers my wild guffaws, or even at home around loved ones, to keep myself from reading passage after passage to them. Every sentence shines with a poet's attention to detail, and although Lockwood's poems are surreal (see my review for Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals), her memoir may be even stranger — after an unforeseen medical expense leaves Lockwood and her husband broke, they must move back in with her parents, a carnivorous Catholic priest obsessed with guns and guitars and a mother who speaks almost exclusively in prognostications of mortal peril. More than just a funny book about an eccentric family, Priestdadddy is also meditation on the modern church: its scandals, its politics, and its peculiarities. It is, quite simply, fantastic, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

— From Priestdaddy, by Patricia Lockwood



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