A native Riverdale resident has published a novel that is about a young man fighting back against a corrupt clergy that has molested his friends while attending church and Catholic school.
Steven Schindler, who attended Visitation School in the 1970s when he lived on the corner of West 238th Street and Broadway, decided to make his latest fiction book about something very personal to him and his childhood friends — sexual abuse by priests. The name of the book is “Fallout Shelter,” which is published by Elevated Press.
He decided to choose the title as both a metaphor and literal safe haven for boys who had faced the abuse of area priests they had trusted.
“The book takes place over eight years for these three characters,” Schindler said. “A fallout shelter is a metaphor for seeking refuge from things you fear in your life.”
The marketing material for the book describes the characters bonding over the fear of priests they faced in church and school: “Chili, Mikey and Angel scoffed at fear.
Atomic bomb ‘duck and cover’ drills were an opportunity for mischief in darkened hallways.
Enraged nuns and priests spitting fire and brimstone were cause for hidden hilarity.”
But the book gets darker as it shows how the characters, who were used to dangers on the streets, weren’t prepared for the sins of the Fathers.
Schindler decided to write this particular novel because of what he had seen in Catholic school in the Bronx.
He described how he saw the problems “go away” with money paid to victims and their families.
Then, the alleged abusive priests were transferred.
Born and raised in the Bronx, Schindler’s career spans several decades as a television writer and producer, with credits including a special on The Who, CNN, “America’s Most Wanted,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and a Chicago Emmy Award for a television special he created, wrote and produced on rock and roll.
He received the following writing awards: Grand Prize Winner, New York Book Festival (“The Last Sewer Ball”) and Best Fiction, Hollywood Indie Book Festival (“From the Block”)