Dodging Satan: My Irish/Italian sometimes awesome, but mostly creepy, childhood

Dodging Satan: My Irish/Italian sometimes awesome, but mostly creepy, childhood

by Kathleen Zamboni McCormick


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, July 22


Move over, Jean Shepherd! Young Bridget in award winning Dodging Satan takes refuge in wacky misunderstandings of 1960s Bible Stories and Catholic iconography to avoid problems in her Irish/Italian family life. Her musings will have you in stitches. Get ready for glorious supernatural worlds–with exorcisms, bird relics, time travel, Biblical plagues, even the ‘holy’ in holy water–as Bridget grapples with sadistic nuns, domestic violence, emerging sexuality, & God the Father’s romantic life!

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937818326
Publisher: Sand Hill Review Press
Publication date: 11/15/2015
Pages: 190
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.40(d)

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,

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Dodging Satan: My Irish/Italian sometimes awesome, but mostly creepy, childhood 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
jbarr5 4 hours ago
Dodging Satan by Kathleen McCormick Starts out with praise for the book, table of contents and then the story begins. Story of a girl growing up Catholic and she's got roots from Italy and Ireland. I remember the cards she spoke of as I also collected them when given to me from the nuns that were teaching us from K through grade 7. The girl grows up thinking Satan is under her bed and she gets her mom to sprinkle things around to scare them off. She really has a philosophic opinions about the virgin Mother of Jesus and the nuns don't like how she portrays her. I myself thought she's really obsessed about her, her clothing, her paintings done elsewhere and how she'd never be able to spank Jesus. Some of the scenes I found funny and some remind me of things that either we did as kids or the cousins did. Acknowledgments and why the author wrote the book. I received this review copy from the author via the publisher and this is my honest opinion.
LibrarianJunkie 6 days ago
Dark and Twisted, Totally Misled This award-winning book was totally dark and twisted, totally misled to me as a born-Catholic/die-Catholic person. I felt that the main character Bridget had all the familiar Catholic sentiments of a Catholic child-teenager until her musings began to sound really strange and uncanny by the end of this book. After I read this book, I sighed and thought to myself: yet, here goes another misled Catholic character with clearly a main goal to defame the church and her teachings but then I think to myself, nah, she’s just a child and this is a work meant to entertain and make a fortune I’m sure Ms. McCormick is just kidding since at the end of her book here, she lists all the credentialed individuals who helped her get this book into fruition and stuff. And these individuals have some kind of connection to the church so okay. Also, she states that the character Bridget was inspired by her own childhood Catholic beliefs so okay. I am giving this book a three stars because of the “peculiar experience” I had while reading it. I feel that that’s my honest reaction to this book that it’s in the middle between like and dislike. I felt the part near the end of her book here was “traumatic” and “contradictory to her stated Catholicism.” I have to insert here that the BVM a.k.a. Blessed Virgin Mary never felt oppressed by God because as a Catholic I was taught that humility and service is your way to heaven. That the BVM was serving and being humble to her Creator. God is the Master/Creator, Mary is just the “Mother” and not higher. Plus she is already a Queen herself because she is the bearer of the Lord Jesus Christ. She never has to worry or to feel herself as mistreated because she’s already a Queen. She isn’t “new money” if you know what I mean. I have to say this because some innocent Catholic reader may stumble upon this book and get the wrong idea. Anyway, I don’t recommend this book to a serious Catholic reader like me because then they’d be feeling this same way. I think this book is for the super liberal/feminist movement reader because the main character is a feminist. Her dialogue is totally focused on anti-patriarchy and condemns God for being an unjust ruler towards women and that Adam the father of the human race was a wimpy man for having eaten the forbidden fruit without further questioning the serpent’s motives. I must say this, everyone’s Catholic experience is different and the reason why I don’t feel this animosity towards patriarchal Catholicism is because the Catholic men in my personal and individual life have all been near perfect and totally understanding. I think one has to have been hurt by someone associated with the Catholic Church to then have an antagonistic view of it. So there’s the proverbial quote of: “The Church is not bad it’s the people in it that are.”
Jlevault 20 days ago
Dodging Satan is an excellently written story about a girl trying to figure out her religion and her families values as she grows up. Kathleen McCormick does a great job of describing her feelings and the things she saw. This story has a great flow and is very descriptive so that you can feel what everyone feels that is in the room with Kathleen. You learn how she got to where she is today and who supported her and who turned away from her. Dodging Satan is a great book that will transport you to another world about different religion and cultures and you just won’t be able to put it down.
Gemma Davison 21 days ago
Let me just say that this could be one of the funniest books I have ever read! Kathleen Zamoboni McCormick has a real gift for writing comedy, and 'Dodging Satan' is going to have Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, and even atheists like me, rolling on the floor laughing. I wasn't brought up in a religious household, but I can imagine many women that were will really relate to the hilarious musings of young Bridget Flagherty. As part of an Irish/Italian Catholic family that has a number of nefarious secrets, she is rather confused. When she starts having nightmares that she assumes have been sent by the Devil, the various influential Catholics in her life all have different opinions. Of course, this makes Bridget even more comically confused Although upsetting and sad in parts, this coming-of-age story is full of heart and is bursting with humour. I'm not surprised it is an award winner, it has completely changed my view on religious fiction. Exceptional!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite Ever read a book and thought, “That is so me! Wish I had written it…or had the guts to write it!” That’s the effect Dodging Satan by Kathleen Zamboni McCormick had on me. From the bright and colourful eye-catching cover to the very last word, McCormick had me riveted as she put words to thoughts that have perplexed me from my earliest days of attending Catholic schools. Kathleen Zamboni McCormick reminded me of practices and pastimes long forgotten, but with which I immediately identified as soon as she brought them up. If you were raised by Catholic parents and attended Catholic schools, do you remember collecting holy cards Accumulating special indulgences? Praying on rosary beads made in China? Cherishing that first missal acquired through green stamps? Staring at a glowing luminescent plastic crucifix beside your bed or on the wall? Worrying about Satan visiting you at night once you were alone in bed? Wearing a scapula and preparing yourself to become a nun? And last but not least, those horrid and feared Diocesan Exams that you knew you’d fail no matter how hard you studied your Bible! And then, somehow strangely as you matured, you began questioning everything that was being drummed into your head by those fearsome nuns in their black habits: how could a virgin give birth? How did Mary bathe Jesus and did she spank him when he was naughty? After all, he was the son of God! And why was Eve and not Adam ultimately to blame for the downfall of mankind? Was it really all about biting an apple? It’s questions and ruminations like these that make Dodging Satan by Kathleen Zamboni McCormick one of the most fascinating, enjoyable and memorable books I’ve ever read. But at the same time, and no doubt intended by McCormick, Dodging Satan is disturbing. Even those not raised Catholic, but steeped in the many other religions and their teachings, will pause to consider what years of religious brainwashing can do to our thinking. Some become too afraid to question, so they accept what they’ve been taught on faith alone. Others, unlike Kathleen Zamboni McCormick, question but don’t dare voice their opinions: doing so might mean ostracism or permanent banning. What caused the young, very devout, God-loving Bridget in Dodging Satan to finally decide to get rid of all her holy cards and to abandon her plans to become a nun? It was seeing how those all-important ten commandments were not being followed by the adults in her home and extended families. It was seeing super-drunken fathers beating up their wives and cheating on their spouses, but never missing Sunday Mass. It was witnessing favorite aunts being ridiculed and mentally abused by supposedly loving family members. It was looking forward to family Christmas dinners that were far from a celebration of life. By the time Bridget grew into a woman, she could only conclude one thing: it was, and still is, near impossible for a woman to come out on top in a man’s world: surely even the Bible was written by men to keep women underfoot. Why else are women still so far away from being equal to men? Yes, there is a strong element of feminism running throughout Dodging Satan, but the seriousness of the real themes is tempered by humour. Dodging Satan will shake up and shock some readers, while it simultaneously earns praise from those with open minds who dare to think beyond what they were taught.