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8

SATURDAY

I remember getting a queasy feeling when I first heard about Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul, the bestselling spiritual memoir by humorist Tony Hendra. It wasn’t merely a kneejerk reaction to the fact that the book recounts Hendra’s longtime mentorship by Dom Joseph Warrilow, a Benedictine monk. I think my discomfort stemmed from the fact that Hendra had notoriously fucked over almost every single person in his life—from colleagues at the National Lampoon to his own family members—and now was going public about how he’d found the light. Not long after the unexpected success of Father Joe, Jessica Hendra, Tony’s daughter, went public with allegations that she had been sexually abused by her father. Now she’s written a book about it called How to Cook Your Daughter, named for a creepy, unfunny piece written by her pop for National Lampoon in 1971. The elder Hendra once had a 7-year-old Jessica end the comedy album Radio Dinner with the line, “What can you expect from a God that crucified his only son?” I wonder if that sacrilege was also excluded from Tony’s grand confession. Hendra and co-author Blake Morrison speak at 4 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 106 South Union St., Alexandria. Free. (703) 684-0077. (David Dunlap Jr.)