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Priestdaddy cover (Riverhead Books, 2017)
AuthorPatricia Lockwood
CountryUnited States
SubjectFamily, Catholicism
GenreMemoir, Humor
PublisherRiverhead Books
Publication date
May 2, 2017
ISBN978-1-59463-373-7 (Hardcover)
WebsitePriestdaddy at Penguin Random House

Priestdaddy is a memoir by American poet Patricia Lockwood.[1] It was named one of the 10 best books of 2017 by The New York Times and was awarded the 2018 Thurber Prize for American Humor.[2] In 2019, the Times included the book on its list "The 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years." [3]

Development and publication history[edit]

Lockwood began writing the book shortly after she and her husband, owing to financial difficulty and illness, moved back to live with her parents in her father's rectory.[4] The 352-page memoir was published May 2, 2017 by the Riverhead imprint of Penguin Random House.[5] In July 2017, Imagine Entertainment announced it had optioned Priestdaddy for development as a limited TV series.[6]


In Priestdaddy, Lockwood recounts her upbringing as the daughter of a married Lutheran minister who converted to Catholicism, becoming one of the few married Catholic priests. The book chronicles her return as an adult to live in her father's rectory and deals with issues of family, belief, belonging, and adulthood. Writing in The Chicago Tribune, Kathleen Rooney described Priestdaddy as "an unsparing yet ultimately affectionate portrait of faith and family";[7] The Guardian called it a "dazzling comic memoir."[8]


Priestdaddy was reviewed widely and favorably,[9][10] with particular praise for Lockwood's wit and the "pleasure in her line-by-line writing; the author can describe even a seminarian’s ordination ceremony in a colorful, unexpected way, her prose dyed with bizarre sexuality, religious eroticism, and slapstick timing" (Laura Adamczyk writing at The A.V. Club).[4] Rooney likewise said Lockwood's book displayed "the same offbeat intelligence, comic timing, gimlet skill for observation and verbal dexterity that she uses in both her poetry and her tweets." In The New York Times, Dwight Garner called Priestdaddy “electric,” "consistently alive with feeling,” and Lockwood's father Greg "one of the great characters of this nonfiction decade."[11] Writing for Playboy, James Yeh dubbed it "a powerful true story from one of America’s most relevant and funniest writers," The New Yorker praised the book as "a vivid, unrelentingly funny memoir ... shot through with surprises and revelations,"[12] and The Atlantic lauded it as "a deliciously old-school, big-R Romantic endeavor."[13] Gemma Sieff, writing for The New York Times Book Review, concluded the memoir positioned Lockwood as "a formidably gifted writer who can do pretty much anything she pleases."[14]


Priestdaddy was named one of the 10 best books of 2017 by The New York Times, one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Sunday Times, The Guardian[15], The New Yorker, The Atlantic, New York, Elle, NPR, Amazon, and Publishers Weekly, among others, and was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize[16]. Priestdaddy was awarded the 2018 Thurber Prize for American Humor.[17]


  1. ^ "The 10 Best Books of 2017". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  2. ^ "2018 THURBER PRIZE FOR AMERICAN HUMOR WINNER". Thurber House. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  3. ^ "The 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  4. ^ a b Adamczyk, Laura (1 May 2017). "Perverted poet Patricia Lockwood runs wild in the memoir Priestdaddy". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  5. ^ "PRIESTDADDY by Patricia Lockwood". Kirkus Reviews. March 7, 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  6. ^ Gajewski, Ryan. "Patricia Lockwood's Memoir 'Priestdaddy' Optioned by Imagine Television". The Wrap. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  7. ^ Rooney, Kathleen (May 1, 2017). "Patricia Lockwood's memoir, 'Priestdaddy,' is smart, funny and irreverent". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  8. ^ Laity, Paul (27 April 2017). "Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood review – a dazzling comic memoir". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  9. ^ Heing, Bridey (May 4, 2017). "The Good, the Bad and the Hilariously Filthy: Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  10. ^ Fallon, Claire (2017-05-01). "'Priestdaddy' Takes On Priesthood, Fatherhood And The Patriarchy". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  11. ^ Garner, Dwight (3 May 2017). "Patricia Lockwood Is a Priest's Child (Really), but 'From the Devil'". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  12. ^ "Briefly Noted". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  13. ^ "Patricia Lockwood Is a Poet on the Edge". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-11-02.
  14. ^ "A Poet's Loving Take on Her Unorthodox Catholic Family". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-06-12.
  15. ^ "100 Best Books of the 21st Century". Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  16. ^ "The 20 Best Books of 2017, According to Amazon's Editors". Bustle. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  17. ^ "2018 THURBER PRIZE FOR AMERICAN HUMOR WINNER". Thurber House. Retrieved 2018-12-06.