The publicist’s biography. Novelist, essayist, and lyricist Christian Bauman first gained notoriety playing guitar on the folk/acoustic circuit and later as the author of a critically acclaimed cycle of novels set in the 1990s (The Ice Beneath You, Voodoo Lounge, and In Hoboken, published between 2002 and 2008) and as a regular contributor to NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered. Other short work by Bauman has been published in several fiction and nonfiction anthologies, The New York Times, IdentityTheory, and Slate. Bauman has been interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air, Rachel Maddow and Chuck D on Air America, Vin Scelsa on Idiot’s Delight, and featured in the Times and CNN. Born in 1970, Bauman lived in India for a year when a teenager, became a father at age 17, and joined the US Army Waterborne in 1991, serving tours with expeditionary forces in the conflicts in Somalia and Haiti.
The author’s biography. I have two wicked-cool, beautiful daughters and two permanent dogs, in a house where dogs and kids often seem to come and go and ebb and flow like the tides. I live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, just outside a town called New Hope. I was born upriver on June 15, 1970, in Easton, Pennsylvania and went to high school in New Jersey, so I claim multi-ethnicity. By far the most consistent things I did as a kid were read a lot of books and listen to a lot of music. When I was thirteen I lived in India for a year; it was difficult to be normal after that. In high school I didn’t do much but theater, drums, guitar, the school paper, and other nefarious distractions. I had a hard time focusing on or even showing up to classes, and would have very much liked to run away with the circus were it not for a disappointing yet complete lack of talent in juggling or lion taming. I hung out in New York and smoked cigarettes and befriended similar wandering minstrel and gypsy souls. I joined the army in 1991, hoping that four years in a barracks somewhere might keep me well-fed while giving me time to write and play guitar. Instead I deployed to Somalia and then Haiti. When I got home I packed up and then left again for a few years, this time with a guitar instead of a rifle. I recorded a couple of albums. I played in a sort-of band called Camp Hoboken. Later I finally needed to make a real living for a while; they wouldn't let me teach because I never went to college, so I got into advertising. I still do that; it suits my temperament. I wrote my first novel when I was twenty-nine, and then I wrote a couple more. I think I have a few more in me. I'm finally finishing a new one now. It's about two sisters in Manhattan and the sun hasn't been out in four months and it won't stop snowing and there's a heavy door and stairway leading down.
Click here for how Garrison Keillor described Bauman’s odd life on the Writer’s Almanac in 2010. You can listen to the podcast, or scroll down past Deborah Digges’s delightful poem (actually, don’t scroll; read the poem) for the text version.