Patricia Lockwood

Patricia Lockwood is a contributing editor at the LRB. Her books include two poetry collections, Balloon Pop Outlaw Black and Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals; a memoir, Priestdaddy; and a novel, No One Is Talking about This, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Dylan Thomas Prize. She has written for the LRB on subjects including David Foster Wallace, John Updike, the internet, in a piece originally delivered as an LRB Winter Lecture, and meeting the pope. She lives in Savannah, Georgia.

Isn’t that . . . female? My Dame Antonia

Patricia Lockwood, 20 June 2024

An eldest sister​ was born in the North, daughter of a judge who never lied and a scholar who always did. That was A.S. Byatt. Christened Susan, what on earth, she was later known as Dame Antonia. Byatt wrote about sugar and snails and sex cults and the dead children of children’s book authors. She wrote about William Morris and Mariano Fortuny. She wrote about Cambridge, where she and...

The Secret Life: On the poet Molly Brodak

Patricia Lockwood, 25 January 2024

Molly Brodak​ stood at the side of my bed, unscrolling her long life like a nightgown. Nearly forty years was long. She had died on 8 March 2020, and now her husband, the novelist Blake Butler, had written a book about her. I had just spent the night reading it on my phone, squinting at the long scroll turned sideways until one of the headaches started. They were the geniuses of...

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...

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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