April Book of the Month: Priestdaddy

My father despises cats. He believes them to be Democrats. He considers them to be little mean Hillary Clintons covered all over with feminist legfur.

Hi Gems! Happy April, happy spring! We hope you are warm and happy and so very ready for our April Book of the Month.

We haven’t had a memoir yet, and we thought it was due time. This month, we were between Lily Allen’s My Thoughts Exactly and Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood. Obviously, you know the outcome. (Nonetheless, we urge you to read Lily Allen’s gorgeous, raw memoir. It is incredible!)

Priestdaddy is a beautiful, unforgettable portrait of a deeply odd religious upbringing, and how one survives it. Patricia Lockwood is a poet, and she writes like a poet, full of eloquent lyricism and her particular poetry. If you don’t read it for the hilarious recollections, read it for an example of how to write a confessional memoir that is both honest and sparkling.

Now a little bit about Priestdaddy:

When the expense of a medical procedure forces the 30-year-old Patricia to move back in with her parents, husband in tow, she must learn to live again with her family's simmering madness, and to reckon with the dark side of a childhood spent in the bosom of the Catholic Church. Father Greg Lockwood is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met - he is a gun-toting, guitar-riffing, frequently semi-naked father 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.” 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.

This one is not to be missed.

Check back soon for discussion questions and let us know if you’ll be reading along!