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DAVID HAWARD BAIN has conducted prose and poetry workshops at Middlebury College since 1987, and has been associated with the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in varying capacities since 1980. Born in Camden, New Jersey and raised in Port Washington, New York, he was educated at Boston University and then lived in New York City for 14 years, working first in book publishing and then as a full-time writer.
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His most recent book is Bitter Waters: America's Forgotten Mission to the Dead Sea, published by The Overlook Press in 2011.

It concerns the adventures of a Virginia officer, Lt. William Francis Lynch, who conceived and led a scientific expedition to the Holy Land in 1848––just months following the end of America's war with Mexico, and months before the discovery of gold in California. This now obscure chapter of American history, taking place far away from its shores, captured the imagination of multitudes around the world in 1848 as Lynch and his small crew braved geographical and local tribal dangers to answer an important scientific puzzle, along the way illuminating ancient places avoided since biblical times. Lynch later published a worldwide bestselling account of his travels.
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Bain is the author of The Old Iron Road: An Epic of Rails, Roads, and the Urge to Go West, by Viking in May 2004, and in paperback by Penguin in May 2005. It centers around an eight-week road trip (summer 2000) along the 40th parallel, tracing many old emigrant routes (including the first transcontinental railroad) between the Missouri River and the Golden Gate, in a narrative shifting from historical yarns to modern-day sights and scenes. The book begins on the old Kansas trail between Fort Leavenworth and Omaha, where the author's grandmother was born in a covered wagon in 1889.
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Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad (Viking, 1999; Penguin, 2000), is an epic narrative history covering not only the dramatic struggle to link the oceans with twin bands of iron but three decades in which America doubled in size, fought three wars, and discovered itself. A main selection of the Book of the Month Club and a selection of the History Book Club, Empire Express was a finalist both for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in History and the Francis Parkman Prize, and won the New England Historical Association's and the National Railroad and Locomotive Historical Society's annual book prizes; the author was elected a Fellow in the Society of American Historians. The work was featured on Brian Lamb's C-SPAN show, "Booknotes," and received extensive media and review coverage. It was adapted by PBS "The American Experience" into a 2-hour documentary (Hidden Hill Productions, Producer Mark Zwonitzer), airing January 2003; Bain served as co-producer and principal commentator.
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His first book, Aftershocks (Methuen, 1980, Penguin, 1986), was an account of a post-Vietnam murder case; Sitting in Darkness: Americans in the Philippines (Houghton Mifflin, 1984; Penguin, 1986), a book about our forgotten war in Asia at the turn of the last century and its modern-day consequences, received a Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award; Whose Woods These Are: A History of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference (Ecco Press, 1993), examined creative writers in community. Another book, The College on the Hill: A Browser's History for the Bicentennial (Middlebury College Press) appeared in 1999.
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He is now at work on a historical memoir entitled The Girl Widow Unveiled: Unraveling Dark Secrets in an American Family. A collection, Best Be Getting Home: Essays on Place, Writers, and Writing, is also forthcoming, as is a new e-edition of Whose Woods These Are. His short work has appeared in Smithsonian, American Heritage, Prairie Schooner (Readers' Choice Award), Kenyon Review, Columbia Journalism Review, TV Guide, and Glamour. He has reviewed regularly in The New York Times Book Review as well as Newsday and the Philadelphia Inquirer, and contributed many reviews to the Washington Post Book World and the Los Angeles Times, among others.

"The House on Hemenway Hill," an essay about moving to a Vermont farm and having an unrequited love affair with a 200-year-old, abandoned house, originally appeared in
Prairie Schooner, and was among the "Notable Essays of 1996," selected by Robert Atwan. "Camden Bound," a biographical literary essay about the author's trip to his birthplace, was selected for The Best of Prairie Schooner (ed. Hilda Raz and Kate Flaherty (2000).
A lifelong musician, playing R&B, blues, jazz, and (some) stride piano, he has played with the likes of John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, James Montgomery, Tom Principato, Bill Colwell, Chicago Bob Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, and many others in Boston, New York, and Vermont.
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