Chip Wagar is a practicing attorney in New Orleans where he has lived since 1976. He grew up in the Adirondacks region of upstate New York in Glens Falls as the oldest of four children. He attended the Austro-American Institute in Vienna during his college years at the George Washington University where he was graduated in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs. At George Washington University and the Austro-American Institute, Chip studied Central and Eastern European politics and history including the Soviet Union.
After graduation from college, Chip came to New Orleans to attend Tulane University School of Law from which he was graduated cum laude in 1979. By then, he had developed what proved to be a life-long attachment to the City of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast Region where he has lived ever since. Chip Wagar has been a civil litigation trial lawyer for over 30 years and now concentrates his practice in medical malpractice and products liability. He has two adult children, Will and Sarah, who also live in the New Orleans area.
An American in Vienna is Chip Wagar’s first novel and contains some autobiographical elements. Like the main character in the novel, Andy Bishop, one of his ancestors mysteriously emigrated from Austria in the 18th century. Other ancestors emigrated from The Netherlands in the 19th century and, as Andy Bishop does in the novel, Chip has made a trip to that country and re-connected with the branch of his family that remained there. One particular scene in An American in Vienna, where Andy’s mother has the mapped-out family genealogy spread out on the kitchen table, was inspired by a moment when Chip was saw his own genealogy this way while visiting with Wim and Colby Fortanier, his Dutch relatives, at their home in The Netherlands.
Chip Wagar is a frequent international traveler and has visited Vienna and Austria many times since his days as a student there. His interest in the history and culture of Austria remains unabated since his initial contact with Vienna and inspired him to write An American in Vienna. Although the history of Vienna and Austria is rich and long, many of the landmarks and sites mentioned in An American in Vienna are still there to be seen.