Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood
A Memoir

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Priestdaddy is a haphazard coming-of-age story, but also an account of a writer forming a highly individual worldview, and finding an audience.
-Guardian

Synopsis

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.
 

About Patricia Lockwood

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Patricia Lockwood was born in a trailer in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and raised in all of the worst cities of the Midwest. Her debut collection, Balloon Pop Outlaw Black, was released in 2012. Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Tin House, the London Review of Books, Poetry, Slate, and The Awl. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri.
 
Published May 2, 2017 by Riverhead Books. 347 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Priestdaddy
All: 6 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 07 2017

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.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Sep 28 2017

The book includes flashbacks to Lockwood’s childhood and adolescence as she grapples with her religious upbringing and finds refuge in the written word. The result is Mary McCarthy’s Memories of a Catholic Girlhood meets David Sedaris’s Me Talk Pretty One Day, with a poetic twist.

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NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Stevie Godson on May 01 2017

Instead of corroding Patricia’s soul, as it quite easily could have done, this strangely skewed upbringing appears only to have sharpened her perspective, not to mention her mad observational and writing skills.

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NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Annalisa Quinn on May 10 2017

In Priestdaddy, portraits like this abound — in which each sentence shimmies with wonderful, obscene life, but the person behind it isn't quite visible through the dance.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Paul Laity on Apr 27 2017

Priestdaddy is a haphazard coming-of-age story, but also an account of a writer forming a highly individual worldview, and finding an audience.

Read Full Review of Priestdaddy: A Memoir | See more reviews from Guardian

Financial Times

Above average
Reviewed by Suzi Feay on Apr 21 2017

The tone falters whenever she strives for high style or moral purpose, but at least the reader never has to wait too long before the next bon mot.

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