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Robert Bausch (born 1945) is an American fiction writer, the author of nine novels and one collection of short stories. He is currently a Professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College, and he has taught at the University of Virginia, The American University, Johns Hopkins University, George Mason University, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His fourth novel, A Hole in the Earth, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Washington Post Favorite Book of the Year. He has been awarded the Fellowship of Southern Writer's award for fiction for his fifth novel, The Gypsy Man. His most recent novel, Out of Season, was published in the fall of 2005. In 2009 he was awarded the Dos Passos Prize in Literature. He is the twin brother of author Richard Bausch.
Robert and Richard Bausch were born in Fort Benning, Georgia, United States, in 1945, at the end of World War II, and were raised in the Washington, D. C., area. Robert 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, In The Fall They Come Back, was released by the author in 2011. The Legend of Jesse Smoke, was released in January 2012.
Since 1975, Bausch has been a college professor, teaching creative writing, American literature, world literature, humanities, philosophy, and expository writing. For the balance of his career he has been teaching at Northern Virginia Community College. He has also taught at the Algonkian Writers Conference and served as a director on the board of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.
- On the Way Home, 1982
- The Lives of Riley Chance, 1984
- Almighty Me!, 1991
- The White Rooster and other stories, 1995
- A Hole in the Earth, 2000
- The Gypsy Man, 2002
- Out of Season, 2005
- In the Fall They Come Back, 2011
- The Legend of Jesse Smoke, 2012
- Far As the Eye Can See, Nov. 2014