Ethan Casey was born in 1965, grew up in Wisconsin, and served his apprenticeship as a journalist in Detroit, as co-author of Queen of Diamonds: The Tiger Stadium Story (1992). From 1993 to 1998, he lived in Bangkok and covered Asian politics and societies for North American, British, and Asian periodicals including The Globe and Mail of Toronto, the Boston Globe, the Observer News Service and the South China Morning Post of Hong Kong.
His extended visits in the mid-1990s to Kashmir, the Central Asian region disputed between India and Pakistan, led to an enduring interest in the subcontinent and especially Pakistan. He visited Pakistan for the first time in 1995 and most recently in 2011. Accepting an invitation in 2003 to spend a semester teaching journalism at Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, he wrote Alive and Well in Pakistan (2004), a book of personal narrative nonfiction that has been praised as “compulsory reading for anyone visiting Pakistan” by the Harvard International Review, “magnificent” by Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban and Descent into Chaos, “intelligent and compelling” by Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and “wonderful … a model of travel writing” by Edwidge Danticat. In The Daily Telegraph, reviewer Alex Spillius wrote: “The author’s real journey is a search for common humanity.” Alive and Well in Pakistan will be republished in an updated 10th-anniversary edition, with extensive new material, in 2014.
After thirteen years living overseas, Ethan Casey returned to the United States in 2006 and settled in Seattle. The January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, a country he has visited often since 1982, compelled him to follow through on a longstanding intention by writing Bearing the Bruise: A Life Graced by Haiti(2012), which Dr. Paul Farmer has called “A heartfelt account [that] gives readers an informed perspective on many of the political and social complexities that vex those who seek to make common cause with Haiti.” Ethan has visited Haiti three times since the earthquake, most recently in September 2011, and is at work on follow-up projects to Bearing the Bruise.
His experience observing and narrating the ways that ordinary people in Pakistan, Haiti, and other troubled countries endure the vicissitudes of lived history led Ethan Casey to turn his attention to a troubled society closer to home: the United States. Between Labor Day and Christmas of the election year 2012, he spent 3 1/2 months driving more than 18,000 miles through every region of the country, beginning and ending in Seattle. His book about that journey, Home Free: An American Road Trip, was published in fall 2013. Paul Rogat Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While, said about Home Free: “Ethan Casey listened hard and well in his books about Haiti and Pakistan. Now he’s listening to America.”
Ethan Casey is also an accomplished editor. Books he has edited include Homeland: Into a World of Hate (2003) by Nick Ryan and Silent Thunder: Breaking through Cultural, Racial, and Class Barriers in Motorsports (2004) by Leonard W. Miller. He also edited, in ten days under extraordinary deadline pressure and in collaboration with Jay Rosen and New York University’s Department of Journalism, the first book-length collection of writings about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. 09/11 8:48 a.m.: Documenting America’s Greatest Tragedy was published at the end of September 2001. Writing in The Guardian, John Sutherland said: “09/11 8.48 a.m. accommodates the ‘shock of the new’ at journalistic speed, and with journalistic fluidity, yet still has the monumental authority of ‘the book’. … [Casey and Rosen] have functioned like conductors of an orchestra, blending others’ talents into unity. One is obliged to think analogically, because there has been nothing quite like this before.”
Having lived and worked through a period of historic change in the professional, technological, and economic foundations of all media industries, Ethan Casey now publishes and markets his own books, as well as those of selected other authors. He accepts writing and editing assignments on a selective basis and is involved in two documentary films in progress. He is also available to speak to university and secondary school students, civic groups, and religious congregations.