f you had no idea who Patricia Lockwood was and encountered her at a hotel in Westminster, as I did last week, this is what you would have seen across the breakfast table: a slim, 34-year-old woman with close-cut dark hair like the painted bob of a wooden doll. Earrings – twin globes – pale as peeled lychees and nail varnish to match. A face born to be surprised, with saucer-wide eyes, responsive eyebrows, a curvy mouth. The voice: amused, high, slightly babyish. The accent: American midwestern, with the suggestion of a whine – somewhere between relish and incredulity – at the way life pans out. But nothing about her appearance could betray what her extraordinary, eccentric and entertaining memoir Priestdaddy or her outlandish poetry collection, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, reveals. And I already know as much about her parents as about Lockwood herself.