Books

Priestdaddy

A memoir by Patricia Lockwood.

Patricia Lockwood

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. (From Riverhead Books)

From the book

"Before they allowed your father to be a priest," my mother tells me, "they made me take the Psychopath Test. You know, a priest can't have a psychopath wife, it would bring disgrace."

She sets a brimming teacup in front of me and yells, "HOT!" She sets a second one in front of my husband, Jason, and yells, "Don't touch it!" She situates herself in the chair at the head of the table and gazes at the two of us with total maternal happiness, ready to tell the story of the time someone dared to question her mental health.


From Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood ©2017. Published by Riverhead Books.

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