Winner of the 2018 Thurber Prize for American Humor
From Patricia Lockwood—a writer acclaimed for her wildly original voice—a vivid, heartbreakingly funny memoir about balancing identity with family and tradition.
Beautiful, funny and poignant. I wish I’d written this book ~ Jenny Lawson, author of Furiously Happy
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Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood
The childhood of Patricia Lockwood, the poet dubbed ‘The Smutty-Metaphor Queen of Lawrence, Kansas’ by The New York Times, was unusual in many respects. There was the location: an impoverished, nuclear waste-riddled area of the American Midwest. There was her mother, a woman who speaks almost entirely in strange riddles and arnings of impending danger. Above all, there was her gun-toting, guitar-riffing, frequently semi-naked father, who underwent a religious conversion on a submarine and found a loophole which saw him approved for the Catholic priesthood by the future Pope Benedict XVI, despite already having a wife and children.
When an unexpected crisis forces Lockwood and her husband to move back into her parents’ rectory, she must learn to live again with the family’s simmering madness, and to reckon with the dark side of her religious upbringing. Pivoting from the raunchy to the sublime, from the comic to the serious, Priestdaddy is an unforgettable story of how we balance tradition against hard-won identity – and of how, having journeyed in the underworld, we can emerge with our levity and our sense of justice intact.