Born Aug. 3, 1946, in Meridian, Mississippi,
Howard Bahr served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and worked five years as a railroad yard clerk and brakeman before beginning a long-time position as curator at
Rowan Oak, the home of William
Faulkner in Oxford, where he also taught literature at the University of Mississippi. He began writing in the 1970s, publishing historical fiction and nonfiction in such publications as Southern Living and Civil War Times Illustrated and co-editing a short-lived publication, Lagniappe (1974-1975). In 1987, he published a childrens story, Home for Christmas, which was re-issued following the publication of his first novel in 1997. The Black Flower: A Novel of the Civil War is a historical novel set during the 1864 Battle of Franklin in Tennessee. The novel was nominated for several awards, earning the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He followed that with The Year of Jubilo in 2000, set in a fictional Mississippi town following the Civil War.
In The Judas Field (2006), a veteran of the Battle of Franklin returns to the battlefield years later to recover the body of one of the fallen soldiers, and in the process remembers that fateful day. For thirteen years he taught at Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma, Tennessee, but he has since returned to Mississippi to teach creative writing at Belhaven College in Jackson, where he now resides.
His latest novel, Pelican Road, is set along a railroad between Meridian, Mississippi, and New Orleans in the 1940s. It was published in May 2008.
Article updated 29 June 2008
- Home for Christmas: A Story of the South. Memphis: St.
Lukes Press, 1987. Baltimore, MD: Nautical & Aviation Publishing
Company of America, 1997.
- The Black Flower: A Novel of the Civil War. Baltimore,
MD: Nautical & Aviation Publishing Company of America, 1997.
- The Year of Jubilo: A Novel of the Civil War. New York:
Henry Holt, 2000.
- The Judas Field: A Novel of the Civil War. New York: Henry Holt, 2006.
- Pelican Road. San Francisco: MacAdam/Cage, 2008.
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