Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood comes out today! It’s a memoir by the author of “Rape Joke” about moving back in with your parents, only your parents are a frenetically protective mom and a dad who is also a gung-ho Catholic priest. Nothing good happens, but we’re all glad it did. You will remember Priestdaddy as one of the best books of 2017.
Fiction Advocate: Patricia! How are you celebrating the publication of Priestdaddy?
Patricia Lockwood: I’ve just returned from a week-long tour in London, and have only a day before I fly out to Portland to kick off the first leg of my US tour, so I need to cram as much relaxation as possible into this one single day, before the book actually launches. And … go!
7 AM: I am technically “awake,” but so jet-lagged that my legs no longer work, and my brain is like a tamagotchi that has been neglected so long it’s begun to beep. Will a Red Bull help? Will FOUR Red Bulls help? Let’s try it and see.
9:15 AM: My husband calls from the next room to let me know that the woman who profiled me for the Guardian described me as having a baby voice. I lock myself in the bathroom for the next ten minutes and record myself reading passages of E.M. Forster out loud to see if she’s right.
9:25 AM: She’s kind of right. But I’m proud of the baby, for being able to read E.M. Forster.
11:45 AM: I FaceTime with my mother, my sister Christi, and my nieces and nephews.
“We’re baking brownies!” my mother announces, and then spends a moment telling me about the prevalence of aneurysms in the general population. My sister wishes me a belated happy birthday, and I tell her that Dad actually called me the other day to do the same.
“What?” she exclaims. “He didn’t even call me on my birthday!”
“Probably because you didn’t just write a book about him that he’s extremely nervous to read,” I respond, and she laughs so loud that one of the babies starts to cry.
1 PM: Decide to do a little “creative work” in the brief lull after lunch. Scratch my head for a minute, stare off into space, and then write the first thing that comes to mind.
Brueghel’s Porn Searches
field getting absolutely PLOWED
hoop and stick EXPLICIT
ass at school
This line of literary inquiry does not seem promising, exactly, but I vow to return to it later—after reading Brueghel’s Wikipedia entry, and figuring out whether I can do something funny with the premise of barely legal serfs.
4:20 PM: My little brother Paul calls, and describes to me a “Republican women’s lunch” he was forced to attend this afternoon in rural Ohio. They were served ham and powdered eggs, everyone was white except for “two Latinas,” and he snapped a surreptitious shot of a Make America Great Again jacket that was sadly hanging over the back of a chair. “I don’t know how they managed it, but they’ve turned me into a progressive,” he marvels.
7 PM: A little pleasure reading might be nice. I pick up a copy of Mercer Mayer’s Just Going to the Dentist and settle in with a contented sigh.
7:02 PM: What the fuck are these animals, though.
Neverclock Midnight O’Thirty: Time to pack all the Serious Literary Clothes I’ll be needing for the next two weeks, a task that is much improved by tequila. “Tricia,” Jason gasps, when he discovers me with a drink in my hand, at the center of a tornado of lingerie. “You know you can’t drink tequila, because you get too turned up and then you want to party!” I turn to him with visible air horns in my eyes, raise my glass, and fling a panty in his direction. “I do what I want, bitch. I got a book coming out.”
Patricia Lockwood was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and raised in all the worst cities of the Midwest. She is the author of two poetry collections, Balloon Pop Outlaw Black and Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, a New York Times Notable Book; and her memoir, Priestdaddy, is an Amazon Best Book. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, and The London Review of Books. She lives in Savannah, Georgia.