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Priestdaddy

By: Patricia Lockwood

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Imprint: Riverhead Books

Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9781594633737

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Electronic

On Sale: | Pages: 352

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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.    In her beautifully written prose debut, Lockwood effortlessly pivots from the raunchy to the sublime, from the comic to the deeply serious, describing how she found her voice as a writer, reflecting on the Church’s recent history of scandal and abuse, and exploring issues of belief, belonging, and personhood.
In her first work of prose, “Priestdaddy,” the poet Patricia Lockwood proves herself a formidably gifted writer who can do pretty much anything she pleases.... What I loved about this book was the way it feels suffused with love — of literature, nature and the English language; for her family, those loved ones whom this book is for.... “Priestdaddy” gives “the conviction that good books sometimes give: that life can be holdable in the hand, examined down to the dog hairs, eaten with the eyes and understood.”
—New York Times
What's glorious in her writing has little to do with her father and everything to do with her fascinating mother and the way Lockwood's relationship with her matures.... Lockwood's father is a Catholic priest — and from this account there's no denying that someone needed to put him in a book. Her depiction of him is a stunningly hysterical portrait of a man who received special ordination permission from the pope because he was married before he heard the call.... This book shines brightest not when Lockwood is parsing through hurtful or odd interactions with her father, but when she dramatizes scenes with her mother or sisters.
—Kansas City Star
Lockwood's prose is cute and dirty and innocent and experienced, Betty Boop in a pas de deux with David Sedaris. When her stuff is good, it is very good.... When her attention drifts, as it sometimes does in her memoir, the kookiness wears.... The good news about “Priestdaddy” is that it roars from the gate. Its first third is electric. It's not just that Lockwood has fresh eyes and quick wits, but that in her father she's lucked upon one of the great characters of this nonfiction decade.... By its midpoint, however, “Priestdaddy” has begun to drift. Greg Lockwood mostly falls out of the story. The author no longer seems sure where her book is heading.... “Priestdaddy” is consistently alive with feeling, however, and I suspect it may mean a lot to many people, especially the lapsed Catholics among us. It is, for sure, like no book I have read.
—New York Times
Here, using the same offbeat intelligence, comic timing, gimlet skill for observation and verbal dexterity that she uses in both her poetry and her tweets, [Lockwood] delivers an unsparing yet ultimately affectionate portrait of faith and family. And her metaphors really are deserving of royalty status... Yet even as "Priestdaddy" is a book of leisure, capable of entertaining the heck out of you and letting you escape from your own life, so too is it a book that has something to teach you — with real pathos.... Impressive in its amplitude — ranging from Lockwood's own coming of age as a poet and feminist to her exchanging sexual information with the seminarian also living in her family's rectory, from her husband's eye surgery to her father's getting arrested at an abortion clinic sit-in — "Priestdaddy" gives both believers and nonbelievers a great deal to contemplate.
—Chicago Tribune
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