PERSONAL: Born in Baltimore, MD; married Bill Bozzone (a playwright); children: Lia. Education: Attended Lake Erie College, B.A.; Goddard College, M.F.A.
ADDRESSES: Home—West Redding, CT. Office—Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 29 E. 21st St., New York, NY 10010; fax: 212-614-7385.
CAREER: Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., New York, NY, vice president of special markets for children’s books.
MEMBER: Poets and Writers.
AWARDS, HONORS: “Discover Great New Writers” citation, Barnes & Noble, 1997, for Boondocking.
Working Women and Other Stories (short stories), Bridge Works (Bridgehampton, NY), 1995.
Boondocking (novel), Bridge Works (Bridgehampton, NY), 1997.
Hollywood and Hardwood (novel), Bridge Works(Bridgehampton, NY), 1999.
Shelterbelt (novel), St. Martin’s Press (New York, NY), 2000.
Contributor of fiction and poetry to anthologies, including The Next Parish Over, edited by Patricia Monaghan, New Rivers Press (St. Paul, MN), 1993; and Eating Our Hearts Out, edited by Leslea Newman, Crossing Press (Trumansburg, NY), 1993. Contributor of fiction and poetry to periodicals, including Western Humanities Review, Calyx, American Literary Review, Carolina Quarterly, American Voice, Black Warrior Review, and Massachusetts Review; contributor of travel features to New York Times and International Herald Tribune.
SIDELIGHTS: Tricia Bauer’s fiction offers “abrupt revelations of life’s possibilities as well as its pain,” to quote Ellen Pall in the New York Times Book Review. The Connecticut-based author of short stories and novels is most at home examining close relationships, such as those between husband and wife, mothers and children, or troubled extended families. Bauer’s work is rooted in the blue-collar and the mundane, but it explores the challenges of life that shape personalities and the sense of self. Her characters, according to a Kirkus Reviews contributor, are “good people moving through a prosaic yet curiously charged landscape, giving new shading to the concepts of home and family.”
Bauer’s first book, Working Women and Other Stories, consists of a series of tales in which characters ultimately seek more than mere financial gain from their employment. As they move away from their childhood homes and into first jobs or career changes, they make discoveries about themselves that alter notions of what they ultimately might become. Her debut novel, Boon-docking, is also about leaving home, but from a different perspective. In Boondocking, Clayton and Sylvia Vaeth take to the road in a trailer in order to protect their infant granddaughter, Rita, from her drug-addled father. The Vaeths spend more than a decade traveling the country, pursued by Rita’s father, until an ultimate reckoning occurs. Christian Science Monitor critic Merle Rubin found the work to be a “vivid, believable account” that offers “a closer look at the many ways in which trailer-life affects [The Vaeths’] sense of themselves and their perception of the world.”
Bauer once said that Hollywood and Hardwood is her most autobiographical novel. The multiple-voiced narrative centers on a married couple named Lou and Re-nata as they struggle to make their way in the entertainment industry. Lou and Renata meet in Vermont at a summer stock theater and fall deeply in love. The strength of their bond is tested again and again as Lou finds—and loses—success as a stage and screenwriter, and Renata strives to overcome her blue-collar background and land important roles. A Kirkus Reviews writer cited the work for its “vignettes that excel in sensitivity as they explore the charms and costs of artistic ambition.”In Booklist, Mary Carroll commended Hollywood and Hardwood for being “low on glitz and long on character.” Carroll also noted that the novel would appeal to readers who want a serious examination of a milieu that is often rendered in broader strokes in pop fiction. January correspondent Linda Richards found the novel “convincing in many ways,” concluding that Hollywood and Hardwood “remains a masterful work. Bauer’s spare and eloquent language is a delight.”
Shelterbelt offers another thematic departure for Bauer. In this novel, a pregnant teenager named Jade must come to terms with her brother’s mysterious death and her family’s dissolution in its aftermath. Wandering first to Connecticut and then to San Francisco, Jade seeks solace in the deeds of her pioneer ancestors and her own burgeoning sense of independence. A Publishers Weekly reviewer deemed the book “winsome but wandering,” concluding that the author’s “verve and grace… [manage] to make Jade’s plight compelling.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 1999, Mary Carroll, review of Hollywood and Hardwood, p. 1288.
Christian Science Monitor, November 24, 1997, Merle Rubin, review of Boondocking.
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 1997, review of Boondocking; January 15, 1999, review of Hollywood and Hardwood.
Library Journal, March 1, 1999, Vicki J. Cecil, review of Hollywood and Hardwood, p. 108.
New York Times Book Review, September 24, 1995, Ellen Pall, review of Working Women and Other Stories; January 11, 1998, Andrea Higbie, review of Boondocking, p. 14.
Publishers Weekly, February 22, 1999, review of Holly-wood and Hardwood, p. 63; September 11, 2000, review of Shelterbelt, p. 69.
January,http://www.januarymagazine.com/ (January, 1999), Linda Richards, review of Hollywood and Hardwood.
Newbeats.com,http://www.newbeats.com/ (November 6, 2000), David Chiu, review of Hollywood and Hardwood.
Tricia Bauer Home Page,http://www.triciabauer.com (March 12, 2008).*