Priestdaddy

  • by Patricia Lockwood
  • Narrated by Patricia Lockwood
  • 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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What the Critics Say

"Patricia Lockwood's side-splitting Priestdaddy puts the poetry back in memoir. Her verbal verve creates a reading experience of effervescent joy, even as Lockwood takes you through some of her life's darker passages. Destined to be a classic, Priestdaddy is this year's must-read memoir." (Mary Karr, author of The Liars' Club)
"Beautiful, funny and poignant. I wish I'd written this book." (Jenny Lawson, author of Furiously Happy)
"Priestdaddy is a revelatory debut, a meditation on family and art that finds poetry in the unlikeliest things, including poetry. Patricia Lockwood's prose is nothing short of ecstatic; every sentence hums with vibrant, anarchic delight, and her portrait of her epically eccentric family life is funny, warm, and stuffed to bursting with emotional insight. If I could write like this, I would." (Joss Whedon)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Holy Smutty Metaphors!

Lockwood is a new author to me. If I was hip, I'd have heard of Lockwood prior to buying this starred darling. I'd have known that the NY Times has crowned Lockwood the "smutty-metaphor queen." She has a big Twitter following and is the author of a book of poetry, "Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals." Lockwood is also a boundary pushing comic with an acerbic wit and a long windup into a delivery that packs a punch to your thinking process.

Lockwood as an author is a fantastic writer with a keen sense of observation. Her stories in this memoir are skillfully told with heart; her narrative smoothly slips from quirky hilarity into depths of sincere revelation. Daddy was a former Lutheran minister, married with children when he is compelled to convert to Catholicism. Granted a "dispensation" from Rome, he is "allowed to keep his wife....even allowed to keep his children, no matter how bad they might be." It is later revealed that his case was reviewed by Joseph Ratzinger, who we now know becomes Pope Benedict XVI. Living with a Catholic Priest, the family also shares the life of a priest and his flock from an intimate vantage point. Lockwood not only sees different lives and circumstances, she has a compassion that sees the perspectives.

The style reminded me of Mic Night at the local bookstore, where poets and storytellers get up and share their latest writings. The words weighted and paused for timing, the occasional interjection of a word or event meant to produce some level of shock in the listener, as you sip coffee or wine. You've no desire to attend the performance but you're dragged by a friend. It's good to get out, see friends, and somehow you end up enjoying the performances. That was this book for me. If I was more familiar with the work of Lockwood, I would have passed; NOT for any reason other than it is not a format or a genre I enjoy. Everything was top rate: the writing the content, the narration -- especially the narration by the author herself which adds another dimension -- it was not for me. I hope that my personal opinion doesn't dissuade anyone interested in this book.
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- Mel

An Original Voice. An Original Thinker.

I want to be careful about the way in which I write about this book. Not because the subject matter is scandalous (it's not), but because, like all beautifully complex things, it'd be easy to mislabel or to put Lockwood's memoir in a box; to diminish its magnificence and, ultimately, the spell it cast over me. It deserves more than that. So, I'll say this: great writers are often lauded for having an original voice. Well, Lockwood has that and then some (including an amazing and amazingly absurd sense of humor). More importantly, she's an original thinker whose devotion to language and words and poetry - her primary trade - can be felt in every line, every turn of phrase, and every bit of confounding imagery that seems to reveal some hidden, intangible truth that normally exists just outside of fingertips' reach.
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- Doug - Audible

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-02-2017
  • Publisher: Audible Studios