“My Father Is A Catholic Priest”


David Copperfield, originally created by Charles Dickens and now a character in Annabelle Troy’s Jane Eyre Gets Real, is no stranger to daddy issues. Raised by a cruel stepfather, he would later find a kindly if impecunious father figure in the eccentric optimist Mr. Micawber. David greatly enjoyed reading “Priestdaddy”, the memoir written by Patricia Lockwood about her own father, who was/is a Catholic priest. (Because he was ordained after he was married and had children, he was allowed by the Church to retain his marital status and his family.)

“Priestdaddy” is an entertaining, sometimes solemn, account of growing up with a father who possesses both a strong vocation and a strong personality. What David Copperfield was really impressed by, however, was not the story but the words. Lockwood is an award-winning poet and this shows in her vivid, lively and often beautiful prose. Here are some examples:

“Lightning was sunlight played backwards–and moms hated it. Dads didn’t care about lightning, because lightning was on the cover of all their favorite albums.”
“The room had the scent of office supplies.”
“The Midwest, contrary to popular opinion, does not lack a sense of irony. It may have too much of one.”
“Why could I never (sing)? Because I kept a cat. A cat is a kind of externalized thinking, another intelligence in the house, which prowls…But some people keep a canary.”
“Outside, the moon is casting a powdery round halo, the kind that draws you up toward it like the silhouette of a wolf.”
What was the last book you read where the words captivated you? David Copperfield would love to know!

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