Ethan Casey

Ethan Casey in the CascadesEthan Casey is the author of Alive and Well in Pakistan (updated 10th anniversary edition 2014), Bearing the Bruise: A Life Graced by Haiti (2012), and Home Free: An American Road Trip (2013), among other books. He is also the publisher of Blue Ear Books.

Alive and Well in Pakistan 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.” Dr. Paul Farmer has called Bearing the Bruise “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.”

Casey’s experience observing and narrating the ways that ordinary people in Pakistan, Haiti, and other troubled countries endure the vicissitudes of lived history led him 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 Home Free: An American Road Trip was published in fall 2013. Bill Steigerwald, author of Dogging Steinbeck, called Home Free “informed, entertaining, compassionate, yet always trustworthy” and Paul Rogat Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While, said: “Ethan Casey listened hard and well in his books about Haiti and Pakistan. Now he’s listening to an America that’s dealing with uncertainty, division, and change.”

Ethan Casey has also edited many books by other authors as well as anthologies and collections. In ten days in September 2001, under extraordinary deadline pressure and in collaboration with Jay Rosen and New York University’s Department of Journalism, he edited 09/11 8:48 a.m.: Documenting America’s Greatest Tragedy, the first book-length collection of writings about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, about which John Sutherland said in The Guardian:

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.

From 1993 to 2006 he worked as an international journalist, based in Bangkok and London and writing for The Globe and Mail, the Boston Globe, the Observer News Service and the South China Morning Post, among other publications. He also co-founded and edited the pioneering online periodical Blue Ear (1999-2005) – praised by James Fallows as “ambitious” and “innovative” – and taught journalism at Beaconhouse National University in Lahore (2003-04).

He has lived in Seattle since 2006 and speaks often at universities and other institutions around the United States, including a TEDx Cornerstone Event at the Princeton Public Library and the annual National Character and Leadership Symposium at the United States Air Force Academy. He works extensively on international programming with faculty and staff at Texas Christian University, where he has also spoken on topics ranging from “Why Does Pakistan Matter to Us, Anyway?” to “Beyond Ferguson” to “What ‘Vietnam’ Did to America.”

Ethan Casey is currently co-editing, with Maj. April Brown, USMC (ret.), a collection of first-person nonfiction accounts by students and others with TCU affiliation who are veterans of the U.S. military. His book America: Now What? and Other Questions, a companion or sequel to Home Free in the form of a collection of essays and speeches written between 2013 and 2016, will be published by Blue Ear Books in 2017.

Ethan Casey’s Blue Ear Books blog posts are archived here.