Dodging Satan (Paperback)

My Irish/Italian Sometimes Awesome, But Mostly Creepy, Childhood

By Kathleen Zamboni McCormick

Sand Hill Review Press, 9781937818326, 190pp.

Publication Date: November 15, 2015

List Price: 18.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Foreword Reviews Gold Medal in Humor & Finalist in Religious Books. EVVY Gold in Humor & Silver in Religion and Spirituality. Bronze winner of an Illumination Award in Catholic books (Pope Francis won the Gold ). ELit Bronze in Humor. What a combination
Dodging Satan is a humorous coming-of-age story. Bridget Flagherty, a student at St. Michael's Catholic school outside Boston in the 60s-70s, takes refuge in wacky misunderstandings of Bible Stories and Catholic beliefs to avoid problems in her Irish/Italian family life. Her musings on sadistic nuns, domestic violence, emerging sexuality, and God the Father's romantic life will delight readers.
Bridget creates glorious supernatural worlds--with exorcisms, bird relics, Virgin Martyrs, time travel, Biblical plagues, even the 'holy' in holy water--to cope with a family where leather handbags and even garlic can cause explosions.
An avid Bible reader who innocently believes everything the nuns tell her, Bridget's saints, martyrs, and bony Christs become alive and audible within her. While the nuns chide her sinful 'mathematical pride' and slow eating habits, God answers her prayers instantly by day, but the devil visits nightly in the dark. Scenes run the gamut from laugh-out-loud Catholic brainwashing of children, to heart-wrenching abuse, to riveting teenage excursions toward sex.
Young Bridget tries to make sense of a world of raging men and domestically subjugated women and carve a future for herself, wrestling with how God and men treat women. Her Italian female relatives--glamorous Santa Anna, black-and-blue Aunt Maria, sophisticated Eleanor with a New York 'Fellini pageboy'--offer sensual alternatives to the repression of her immediate family. She prays fervently that "despite God's bizarre treatment of married women... some girls] might still discover ways to have a great time without being a nun."
Dodging Satan is the flip-side of l'Histoire d'une me by Saint Th r se of Lisieux authored by a twentieth century American girl chomping on a blue-gum cigar while she talks to a confidant about God and sex.

About the Author

Kathleen Zamboni McCormick is a professor of literature and writing at Purchase College, State University of New York, where she has won many teaching awards and her creative and academic writings have been widely recognized. They include the Modern Language Association's Mina Shaughnessy Award, the Bent Creativity Award, first prize in the Tiny Lights personal essay competition, and a New Millennium Writings Award. Her fiction has been published in Calyx, The Dirty Goat, Fugue, Italian Americana, Northwest Review, Kestrel, Paterson Literary Review, Northwest Review, Phoebe, PMS poemmemoirstory, The Rambler, A River and Sound Review, South Carolina Review, Superstition Review, Westview, Willow Review, and Witness, Zone 3, among others. McCormick lives in New York with her husband and cat. More information can be found on her website,