ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
NAMED ONE OF THE 50 BEST MEMOIRS OF THE PAST 50 YEARS BY THE NEW YORK TIMES
SELECTED AS A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY:
The Washington Post * Elle * NPR * New York Magazine * Boston Globe * Nylon * Slate * The Cut * The New Yorker * Chicago Tribune
WINNER OF THE THURBER PRIZE FOR AMERICAN HUMOR
“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 Booker Prize finalist Patricia Lockwood, author of the novel No One Is Talking About This, 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.
Equipped with acerbic wit and a keen eye for raunchy detail, poet Lockwood (Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals) ventures into nonfiction with this wickedly funny memoir about moving back in with her parents. For eight months in 2013, Lockwood and her husband, Jason, moved back to Kansas City to live in her childhood home. It's a situation colored in no small way by the presence of Lockwood's larger-than-life family, particularly her father, a practicing (and, yes, married) Catholic priest, who loves sports cars and guns and watches action movies in his underwear, and mother, a sweetly earnest, hyperactive woman whose "preferred erotica on the internet German Christmas handcraft." 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.
Decent book but nowhere near what the hype made it to be.
I found the author interesting but her father boorish and it was this feeling throughout that made reading about her family a slog. If it had been more about her mom it would have been better.
A breathtaking, hilarious, emotional gut-punch of a memoir. That beautiful moment at the end where the author acknowledges that she had no time as a child to ask “Does God exist?” because she was too busy with the question, “Do *I* exist?” Such a lovely, funny, compassionate portrait of a family the author realizes may be as incapable of change as she is of belief. And always the writing, the writing, the writing. Simply exquisite.
Priestdaddy had the potential to be an insightful, balanced first-hand reflection about family life by a child of a married Roman Catholic priest. I was looking forward to learning of the richness and the challenges of a lifestyle that may be a possibility for Roman Catholic priests and their families in the future. The author’s style is light-hearted and jocular. It is particularly jarring as it acrimoniously describes the author’s father as, at best, weird and perhaps somewhat psychopathic. The acrimony is then extended to the entire Catholic Church, with which the author appears to harbor great resentment because of her dysfunctional childhood. I detected no positive attribute in the man or his church. I am mystified by the many very favorable reviews and prizes that the book has garnished. I couldn’t bring myself to keep reading after slogging through one-quarter of the text.