Patricia Lockwood

Patricia Lockwood is a contributing editor at the LRB. Her novel No One Is Talking About This was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and won the Dylan Thomas Prize. She lives in Savannah, Georgia.

Diary: When I Met the Pope

Patricia Lockwood, 30 November 2023

The invitation​ said ‘black dress for Ladies’. ‘You’re not allowed to be whiter than him,’ my husband, Jason, instructs. ‘He has to be the whitest. And you cannot wear a hat because that is his thing.’

We are discussing the pope, who has woken one morning, at the age of 86, with a sudden craving to meet artists. An event has been proposed: a...

Ican list​ a hundred things David Foster Wallace should have written before he wrote a book about tax accountants. One, and the most obvious, is a novel about Irish dancers on tour with a Michael Flatley figure whose influence grows more sinister over time. Pounds of verbal oil will be poured into his perm; his bulge will almost rupture his trousers. His backstory – but surely you can...

Diary: Saving a Life

Patricia Lockwood, 16 February 2023

Itwas a perfect day, and we paid for it. Out the ass, I wrote on hotel stationery later, before deciding to reject the easy joke; I was a tasteful person now, having passed through the refiner’s fire.

8 May. We had flown into LA from Savannah the night before; the city, from our hotel room, looked like a heat map of itself. The jacarandas were blooming. Everyone describes the...

Worm Interlude: What is a guy for?

Patricia Lockwood, 17 November 2022

Halfway​ through my first reading of ‘Liberation Day’, the 63-page title novella of George Saunders’s new collection, a man appears to me. He is not George Saunders exactly – an old version maybe, or a could-have-been. He is speaking the story, or writing it, or daydreaming it at a desk in an empty classroom. He is figuring it out, living in the excitement of it,...

Diary: Putting on Kafka’s Tux

Patricia Lockwood, 24 March 2022

Kafka​ had consumption, which everyone else also had at that time: look at them up on the tops of mountains, men coughing spots in love with women coughing spots, so that you could draw lines between them until the whole world was filled in. It was a comfort to read him in a year when everyone again had the same disease. More specifically her, for in that moment she was everyone. She...

Eels on Cocaine

Emily Witt, 22 April 2021

Patricia Lockwood is a generous writer. She seems incapable of resentment and has a Rabelaisian appreciation for the bawdy. She can describe America’s corporate restaurant chains and their blooming onions...

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For all its dirty jokes and baby talk, Priestdaddy is an angry book, and Patricia Lockwood’s use of childhood idiom is a way of exposing the irrationality of institutional authority.

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