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Biography and Personal Information

Photo by Tim Bausch

Robert Bausch was born in Georgia, at the end of World War II, and was raised in the Washington, D.C., area. He has worked as a salesman--of automobiles, appliances, and hardware--a taxi driver, waiter, production planner, and library assistant. He was educated at George Mason University, earning a BA, an MA and an MFA, and he says he has been a writer all his life. He spent time in the military teaching survival, and worked his way through college.

Bausch published his first novel, On the Way Home, in 1982. Newsweek called the novel “compelling” and it was favorably reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and other publications. His second novel, The Lives of Riley Chance, was published in 1984 and was praised by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. It was later translated into Swedish. Almighty Me, his third novel, was published in 1991. Again the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other newspapers praised it highly. The rights to the book were sold to Hollywood Films, a division of Disney Studios. Almighty Me was also published in German. This book was later released in film version, uncredited, as Bruce Almighty.

In 1995, Bausch published a collection of short stories called The White Rooster and Other Stories. The Dictionary of Literary Biography awarded the book its literary prize for the most distinguished fiction for 1995.

A Hole in the Earth, (Harcourt, 2001; Harvest Books, 2002) his fourth novel, was inspired by his father, Robert Carl Bausch, a successful Washington businessman, who died unexpectedly in 1995 at the age of 79. “I tried to put everything my father believed in that book,” Bausch has said. “Out of respect for him, and because, as my narrator comes to see, he was right about most things.” Bausch comes from a “functional” family; one that was happy and that included an identical twin brother (the novelist Richard Bausch) and four other brothers and sisters. Their parents, Helen and Robert Bausch, were happily married, staunchly Democratic and Catholic, and they stayed married for fifty-five years. A Hole in the Earth was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and a Washington Post Favorite Book of the Year in 2001.

The Gypsy Man, his fifth novel, was published by Harcourt in October, 2002 and again, in paperback by Harvest Books.

Bausch’s sixth novel Out of Season was published in the fall of 2005. It was a Washington Post Favorite Book of the year as well.

His seventh novel, Far as the Eye Can See, was published in 2014 by Bloomsbury Press. The New York Times made it an Editor's Choice. The book was also an Indie Next selection for December. The paperback will be published in 2015.

The Legend of Jesse Smoke, his eighth novel was published by Bloomsbury in the fall of 2016, and in the fall of 2017 his ninth novel, In the Fall They Come Back, is forthcoming from the same publisher.

Since 1975, Bausch has been a college professor, teaching creative writing, American literature, world literature, humanities, philosophy, and expository writing. He has taught at the University of Virginia, American University, George Mason University, and Johns Hopkins University. For the balance of his career he has been teaching at Northern Virginia Community College. He has also been a director on the board of the Pen-Faulkner Foundation. In 2009 he was awarded the John Dos Passos Prize in Literature.
---James Gilford

At the "Starling" dinner. Photo by Greg Lipscomb.
The "Starling" dinner.New writers: Patricia Gonzales, Rachel Swift, Caitlin Hill. Not present: Lisa Gschwandtner. Photo by Greg Lipscomb
Lake Atitlan Workshops in Guatemala with Joyce Maynard.
Lake Atitlan, site of Guatemala Workshops with Joyce Maynard
Returning from Lake Atitlan