Bruce Bauman is the author of the novel And The Word Was. His novel, Broken Sleep will be published by Other Press in 2014.
His work has appeared in LA TIMES, Salon, BOMB, Bookforum and numerous anthologies and literary magazines. Among his awards are a UNESCO/Aschberg fellowship (2000), a Durfee foundation grant (2006) and COLA (2008/9) award. He is Sr. editor of Black Clock magazine and is an instructor in the CalArts MFA Writing and BFA Critical Studies programs.
Bruce was born in Brooklyn, grew up Flushing, Queens and was a long time resident of Manhattan. Thirteen years ago his wife, the painter Suzan Woodruff (www.suzanwoodruff.com) relocated him, under the NY native witness protection program, to Los Angeles. He is very happy she did that.
Upcoming Events/ News
Fiction: The Home Front; Saturday, 4/20/2013, 3:30PM
And the Word Was
Bruce's novel, And the Word Was, is now out in paperback from Other Press.
A readers guide is available here. Bruce is available for book club appearances in the SoCal area. He is available for online chats and phone appearances for all other clubs.
"Bauman's first novel is a magnificent debut, smart and intense, but accessible and riveting. This is simply a great novel."
Does "what only novels can: Make us gasp, sit up, say yes, the world has changed. This is what it feels like to live now."
- Los Angeles Magazine
"Think Albert Camus, Marcel Proust, and Larry David engaged in a debate on the meaning of sacrifice and forgiveness."
"Downs and the other characters in Baumans New Delhi resemble those in the Jerusalem of Robert Stones Damascus Gate....Confidently and profoundly exploring the languages of grief, guilt, ravaged memory and lost faith, Bauman's debut novel traverses the psyche of a man whose personal diaspora and reconnection to the world quietly alter our perception of our own."
- L.A. Weekly
"And, yet, for all the death, for all the truth, the book isn't grim. It's all been written so lightly, so engagingly. A hopeful atheist yourself, you wonder out loud at the elegance of the writer's task. It's a triumph because this book isn't simple. It's just written as if it were."
- Reviewed by Joy Nicholson on Beatrice.com
33 Thoughtdreams on Why My Head Belongs Inside a Guillotineby Bruce Bauman
For spending hours rereading Gatsby, old comic books, watching infomercials by pro wrestlers and reruns of Combat when I should be working on my new novel.
For not having taken photos that night at the Gramercy Park Hotel when The Shrub and I snorted cocaine together.
For being such a little prick that Mrs. Rubin had to throw me out of the class over a hundred times in fifth and sixth grades.
Because I don't have the courage to expose the frauds and blowhards that pollute art and literature.
For not being able to abolish all the religions of the world with a single kiss from god.
For blaming myself for so long because I couldn't control my bowels when my ulcerative colitis was at its worst.
For missing the moment in Rio to sleep with the real 'girl from Ipanema.'
For not knowing how to appreciate the beauty of a sunset.
Because I don't know how to tell you that my wife, Suzan Woodruff is now one of the finest painters in America without having you think that I'm prejudiced.
For not being able to stare into space until time stops and I am no longer afraid to fall asleep.
Because I'm haunted by screaming nightmares that tell of sins I don't remember committing.
Because I did not stop Lt. Calley that afternoon and I could have.
Because I know what Dick Cheney imagines when he masturbates but I am sworn to secrecy-- and I do not break my word.
Because, as a five year old kid, I watched the black lady who lived next door get pushed off the roof by her white husband and I never told anyone what I saw.
Because I did not keep Mark David Chapman in that coffee shop on 72nd Street another two hours that night.
Because I yelled "Kill him, kill him," to Lawrence Taylor as he crushed opposing quarterbacks.
Because I can't stop people from saying that mean spirited mediocrities like Bill Parcells, Phil Jackson and Coach K are geniuses.
That I can't remember the name of the true genius who invented the internet.
Because I can't make Woody Allen see what a schmuck he's become.
Because when Allen Ginsberg wanted to lick my reality sandwich, and Gregory Corso wanted to fuck my girlfriend, I ran away instead of chanting their songs in my head.
For the thousands of small cruelties that have escaped my mouth and which I relive over and over because I am trapped in the exitless hell of my mind.
For being so nasty to Mr. Hershkowitz, my Hebrew school teacher because I did not comprehend the meaning of the numbers on his arm or the sighs from his lips.
For having sex with my married German friend in the parking lot at Dachau.
For having affairs, before I got married, with women who were married or who had boyfriends and never thinking I was doing a damn thing wrong.
For not telling Mick Jagger he was a cheap bastard the night he stiffed the waitress at CBGBs.
For having no weapons to redo my past or thwart my eventual death.
Because Kafka understood how to wait and I don't.
Because I can control my ambition.
That I can close my eyes to the pain and poverty all around me because, like you, in my heart, I believe I am too good to be poor.
That I cannot make the Israelis and Palestinians see that they are the same person.
That I was not kinder to my parents sooner.
That America is dying and I can't save it.
That I will never write a sentence so beautiful that it will change the world.