In the Fall They Come Back
Ben Jameson begins his teaching career in a small private school in Northern Virginia. He is idealistic, happy to have his first job after graduate school, and hoping some day to figure out what he really wants out of life. And in his two years teaching English at Glenn Acres Preparatory School, he comes to believe this really is his life's work, his calling. He wants to change lives.
But his desire to "save" his students leads him into complicated territory, as he becomes more and more deeply involved with three students in particular: an abused boy, a mute and damaged girl, and a dangerous eighteen-year-old who has come back to school for one more chance to graduate.
In the Fall They Come Back is a book about human relationships, as played out in that most fraught of settings, a school. But it is not only a book about teaching. It is about the limits and complexities of even our most benevolent urges--what we can give to others and how we lose ourselves.
The Legend of Jesse Smoke
A young, talented, courageous and beautiful woman demonstrates the ability to throw a football better than anybody, ever. She's got a quick release, she is accurate, she can throw the ball 70 yards in the air. What does one do when confronted with such talent in the body of a woman? This novel explores that very question.
A new novel forthcoming in the Fall of 2016 from Bloomsbury Press. What would happen if a young athlete came along who could throw a football as well as John Elway or Peyton Manning? What if this person was as strong, quick, and resourceful as any of the great quarterbacks? And what if this person was a woman?
When Skip Granger, the assistant coach for the Washington Redskins, first sees Jesse Smoke, she is on the beach in Belize. And she has just thrown a regulation football a mile.
Granger knows that Smoke's talent is unprecedented for a woman, and nearly unparalleled among men. As Granger observes her throughout a season as quarterback for the Washington Divas of the Independent Women's Football League, he decides to sign her to the Redskins, even as he faces losing his job and credibility. As the first woman on a major NFL team, Jesse Smoke's astounding success places her in the tradition of athletes like Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis. Yet Smoke is quickly faced with her own battles, including the clamors of the press, the violence of her teammates, and the institutional resistance that seeks to keep football in the hands of men.
While a female quarterback in the NFL is a fantasy at the moment, Robert Bausch's genius as a writer makes it a highly engaging reality on the page. Fans of football--and readers who were just waiting for a player worth getting excited about--will relish Jesse Smoke's journey to the big leagues.
Far as the Eye Can See
Bobby Hale is a Union veteran several times over. After the war, he sets his sights on California, but only makes it to Montana. As he stumbles around the West, from the Wyoming Territory to the Black Hills of the Dakotas, he finds meaning in the people he meets-settlers and native people-and the violent history he both participates in and witnesses. Far as the Eye Can See is the story of life in a place where every minute is an engagement in a kind of war of survival, and how two people-a white man and a mixed-race woman-in the midst of such majesty and violence can manage to find a pathway to their own humanity.
ABOUT FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE: "As expansive as the country it traverses, Bausch’s majestic odyssey through the Old West finds rich nuance in a history often oversimplified . . . The novel’s patient, searching first-person narration is finely balanced, with a voice at once straightforward and lyrical, grand and particular. Bausch’s characters defy facile judgments; each is sharply distinctive, yet all struggle to find a footing amid the clash of human difference that is, in Bobby Hale’s words, the ‘most spacious war of all.’" —Publishers Weekly
"Bausch’s voice is more Mark Twain than Larry McMurtry . . . [He] is perceptive without being preachy, and he grants Hale a wide range of emotions while preserving a recognizable strand of stoic masculinity." —Booklist
"Bausch captures the immense measure of the American landscape . . . Not to be missed by historical fiction fans." —Library Journal
"Characters like the enigmatic yet relatable Bobby Hale are a real prize in literature . . . . Far As the Eye Can See is a superb western with bold ideas, but it is also daring in its ability to build fresh concepts while maintaining the tried-and-true dynamic of humanity emerging within individuals through war . . . A gripping and engaging tale." —Book Reporter
Out of Season
Sorrow is David Caldwell’s daily companion. Nine years ago, his eleven year old son, Todd, killed his baby brother in an accident... never fully explained, never quite forgotten. With the intensity of a Shakespearean tragedy, Bausch draws on the heart-break of loss and the power of redemption like no other writer.
A brilliant exploration of human darkness, delusion, and desire for redemption.”
--Beth Henley, author of Crimes of the Heart
A rich and memorable experience--strong, accessible, and deeply satisfying...
The Gypsy Man
Looming over Crawford Virginia is the legend of the Gypsy Man. Everyone knows he was kidnapped and returned as an infant... only to disappear again during World War 1 and come back... to steal children. Haunted by individual fears and superstitions, the inhabitants of Crawford are joined by a common history.
An experience so intimate that it almost blinds you with love
--O The Oprah Magazine
A Hole in the Earth
I have admired the work of Robert Bausch in the past, but I must say that nothing prepared me for A Hole in the Earth. It is by far the best novel he has done, something any reader can and will enjoy and many a good writer will envy. What a wonderful novel! Without a lot of hype or anything phony, first to last, A Hole in the Earth is a quickly moving and wholly engrossing story, an authentic picture of the way we live now. Good novels often get that far and do that much. But Bausch has done something more, of a higher order. He has created a group of fully dimensional, credible characters, men and women, young and old, equally and justly represented, whose lives, whose joys and sorrows are worth of our full attention. They are people we can care about. The style is as clean and clear as spring water. There is nothing wasted and not a single self-serving, show-off line. Readers who have been patiently waiting for the real pleasures, the laughter and tears that only first rate fiction can offer, will rejoice in this story as I have and can be grateful that we have a writer like Robert Bausch among us here and now...
From Publishers Weekly
If one of the purposes of literature is to illuminate human inconsistencies and frailties, failed attempts to communicate, and redemptive possibilities, this richly rewarding new novel by the author of Almighty Me wins stars in each category. On the verge of turning 40, narrator Henry Porter endures a summer in purgatory. The black sheep of his respected family, he is a grade school history teacher who augments his income by frequenting the race track, an obsession that exasperated his wife, who left him years ago, taking their young daughter, Nicole. Now 18, Nicole turns up on his doorstep in Washington, D.C., throwing Henry into a paroxysm of nervous guilt. Trying to reconcile his feelings of parental failure with his compulsion to bet on the horses, he can barely greet Nicole before he rushes off to make a daily double wager. Then, when his patient and understanding lover, fellow teacher Elizabeth Simmons, tells him she's pregnant, Henry can't cope. He is, indeed, emotionally stunted, trapped in an adolescent limbo caused, he believes, by the abiding disapproval of his father, a well-known judge. Afraid to make a decision, preferring to gamble and let fate decide rather than act decisively, Henry is blind to the implications of his behavior. He resists any suggestion that his gambling addiction might be pernicious. In a plot that develops its rising tension with seamless ease, Henry's lies and evasions catch up with him in a wrenching series of disasters, a nightmare that keeps unrolling until he reaches the nadir of his existence. With a delicacy and subtlety that indicate a mastery of his craft, Bausch captures and sustains the reader's sympathy for self-destructive Henry. At last, in a moving denouement, Henry achieves a transcendent moment of self-worth and connection. Bausch's profound empathy for his characters, his wise understanding that the texture of life is composed of ambiguities, failures, guilt feelings, and a few successes, contributes to a flawlessly expressed novel. (A New York Times Notable book; Washington Post Favorite Book of the Year.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“A beautiful and aching novel, alarming in its wisdom and treatment of one of the great terrors, loneliness, and one of the great mercies, forgiveness.”
The White Rooster and other stories
Bausch's strong, beautiful, moving stories, 10 of which appear in this collection, are testaments to the human capacity to feel and connect in an emotionally alienating world. In ``Stag Party,'' a grief-stricken 23-year-old mathematician, floundering after his mother's death, clumsily attempts to rescue a terrfied, naked stripper who is assaulted by beer-soaked veterans at a stag party. In ``The Hairpiece,'' spiked with wry and bizarre, yet touching, humor, a widow reaches out to the surly stepson who despises her--by giving him her deceased husband's toupee, woven of his own hair. Humans' relationships with animals are central to several tales, including the title story, in which a sick, stray rooster's sudden appearance in the yard of a selfish, retired carpenter triggers the man's confrontation with his estranged son and new daughter-in-law. In ``Cougar,'' an allegory on the hazards of starving the creative subconscious, a stockbroker/poet, his nerves shattered, takes a solo vacation in the Ontario woods; there, he spies a cougar (or thinks he does) and indulges in a thoughtless lie about his wife that nearly costs him his marriage. Also included are topical, timely stories, one about a wife who undergoes artificial insemination against her husband's wishes (``One Thing in Life''), and another about an ex-cop who teams with a mailman to burglarize houses in hopes of arousing their suburban neighborhood to form an anti-crime squad (``Vigilance''). These wonderfully clearsighted, uncompromising tales (none of which has been collected previously) ring true and provide unalloyed pleasure.
"This is a wonderful novel. Intelligent, fanciful, world-weary but joyous, and very, very funny."
"Those of us lucky enough to have read and relished Robert Bausch's other novels have good news for the many who will soon discover his best and latest--"Almighty Me." Because Bausch is a master fabulist, you will find a wonderful...premise at the heart of things. Because Bausch is a master storyteller, you will enjoy clear, strong writing about people who matter. Because Bausch is a great comedian, you will laugh out loud a lot of times, sometimes at dark and dangerous things. Because Bausch is, first and last, a truth-teller, you will surely agree with Charlie Wiggins, the remarkable narrator: "Let me tell you, they call it a broken heart for a good reason."
From Publishers Weekly
In a divine conceit, Bausch's hero, Goodman Charles Wiggins, a Dodge salesman in southern Illinois, learns from an angel named Chet that for one year he will have God's powers. How Charlie deals with this gift and if, indeed, it's enough to bring him happiness, is the burden of this darkly comic tale; as Chet points out, "You have God's power but not his wisdom." A family man with two young daughters, Charlie is bothered by the growing disaffection of his wife Dorothy, who has returned to school and thrown herself into life as a student. Practicing his powers at work, he sets up a hilarious progression of events between his boss and the dealership secretary; problems come closer to home when he mistakenly causes Dorothy's parents' house to burn down and they must move in with him. His efforts to help himself and others initiate disastrous climatic changes, lead to the deaths of a few people, one of whom he restores to life, and, in the end, are neither help nor hindrance in his relationship with Dorothy, whom he wants to love him on her own, not because he, with his power, compels her. Although the plot occasionally gets slightly out of hand, Bausch ( The Lives of Riley Chance ) creates characters who, in an incredible situation, remain believable, consistent and worth caring about. Part fable, fairy tale and fantasy, the story of Charlie Wiggins and his dilemma will amuse and entertain less empowered readers. Film rights to Disney Studio's Hollywood Pictures.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The Lives of Riley Chance
"The author warns us at the beginning that this is a sad story...This is forgivable, however, for Robert Bausch has produced a funny, intelligent, poignant novel that courageously explores the fundamental truths in all our lives."- Carol Verderese New York Times Book Review
This book is now available in a new edition through www.backinprint.com and at Amazon.Com. The second novel published originally in 1984.
On The Way Home
Available through Amazon.com. The author's first novel, which Newsweek magazine called "compelling." John Gardner said the book was a "strong, spare, sad, eloquent novel--exactly what Hemingway would write if he lived throught he kind of war we make now."
"The Bausch style is as clean and firm as a new butcher's block..." LA Times.