Normally I shy away from memoirs written by poets, afraid that their style of writing won’t translate into a cohesive narrative. But Patricia Lockwood’s clever turns of phrase and eccentric personality are right at home in this book, which is primarily the story of her beer-drinking Catholic priest of a father and how growing up in this paradoxical environment shaped her life. It’s real and irreverent and will delight fans of Jenny Lawson and Mary Karr.— Louise
I think I raved to everyone who would listen about how much I loved this book. Lockwood is hilarious, yet her words are thoughtful and heartfelt as she describes her ‘walking warning label’ of a mother and her priest father who has a habit of dropping his collar (and pants) at the door. Families aren’t perfect and Lockwood’s is no different.— Karena
“A published poet, Lockwood's first memoir is a hilarious and contemplative narrative written with precise, flowing prose that baptizes the reader. Calling it an honest portrayal is a severe understatement, as Lockwood describes a father who converts to Catholicism and becomes a priest due to a little-known loophole that allows him to continue his 'normal' relationship with his wife and three children. Her understanding of what appears, from the exterior, to be bizarre behavior in the guise of religion is a peek under the sheets of a cold embrace. Loved it!”
— Todd Miller, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI
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.
Father Greg Lockwood is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met - a man who lounges in boxer shorts, who 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.