John Casey - Bio and Creative Works

John Casey

NOVELIST • TRANSLATOR
Born
1939-01-18
Age
83
Citizenship
United States of America
Place of Birth
Worcester
Bio

John D. Casey is an American novelist and translator. He won the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction in 1989 for Spartina. - Wikipedia

Select Creative Works

BOOK • 2014

by John Casey

John Casey pens a passionate and charming love story about the ups and downs of a couple living together in rural Iowa.

An American Romance follows the relationship of Anya, the director of a theater commune, and Mac, a Canadian engineer who builds sets for the theater, as they embark on their personal journeys of fulfillment while by each other’s side.

Against the backdrop of rural Iowa, Anya and Mac share a passionate and tumultuous relationship that lends itself to the anything-but-standard culture of American life in seventies.

“This is a novel of Proustian detail, rich and sensuous; in fact, in the depth of affection felt for his characters, John Casey has achieved a contemporary American novel that closely resembles Remembrance of Things Past.” — John Irving

BOOK • 2011

by John Casey

A Providence Journal Best Book of the Year
A Seattle Times Best Book of the Year 
 
John Casey follows up his National Book Award-winning novel Spartina with an extraordinary return to the marshes of Rhode Island’s South County.  
 
Elsie Buttrick, the prodigal daughter of Sawtooth Point, has just given birth to Rose, the child conceived during her passionate affair with Dick Pierce. At first she is wary of the discomfort her presence poses to Dick’s wife, May, and other inhabitants of their gossipy, insular community. But as Rose slowly becomes the unofficially adopted daughter and little sister of half the town, she magnetically steers everyone in her orbit toward unexpected—and unbreakable—relationships.

BOOK • 1999

by John Casey

"[Casey] is an astute observer of the ruses as well as the private confrontations that govern our behavior."
--The Washington Post Book World

In The Half-life of Happiness, National Book Award winner John Casey brings us a family portrait rendered with masterful precision--and unwavering compassion. On a spring afternoon in Virginia, progressive attorney Mike Reardon strolls downtown Charlottesville feeling terrific. He surveys the elements in his appealing life: filmmaker wife Joss, his clever and canny daughters, the bohemian characters that share his seven-acre haven on the Rivanna River.

But Mike's blissful certainty is to be short-lived. A friend's suicide and Joss's affair with a mercurial woman turn Mike's world upside-down. Then Mike discovers the erotic quicksilver of the political campaign and so begins a farcical run for office that consumes all their lives. Here too--through Casey's brilliant rendering of Mike's sensitive, perceptive daughters--is the story of two children who grow up painfully aware of their parents' strengths and weaknesses. Superbly plotted, buoyed with humor and hope, The Half-life of Happiness embraces the accidents and choices that shape our lives and the lives of those we love.

"Riveting and beautifully written."  --San Francisco Chronicle-Examiner

"A major novelist at the top of his form, Casey captures not only the texture of individual lives, but the shape and momentum of all lives that begin with the best intentions, then stray off course. . . . A wise and forgiving book as well as an entertaining one."
--Chicago Tribune

BOOK • 1990

by John Casey

Winner of the 1989 National Book Award

A classic tale of a man, a boat, and a storm, Spartina is the lyrical and compassionate story of Dick Pierce, a commercial fisherman along the shores of Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay. A kind, sensitive, family man, he is also prone to irascible outbursts against the people he must work for, now that he can no longer make his living from the sea.

Pierce's one great passion, a fifty-foot fishing boat called Spartina, lies unfinished in his back yard. Determined to get the funds he needs to buy her engine, he finds himself taking a foolish, dangerous risk. But his real test comes when he must weather a storm at sea in order to keep his dream alive. Moving and poetic, Spartina is a masterly story of one man's ongoing struggle to find his place in the world.

BOOK • 1979

by John Casey

A young intellectual is called into active duty and receives a rude awakening to the realities of military service. An Ivy League graduate is pressed casually into Intelligence work and encounters himself mirrored in his new-found friend--a Russian spy. An arrogant professor finds himself unable to resist the unschooled energy of a spunky female student. A lonely apprentice at a New York law firm is flattered by the attentions of two mentors--one a senior partner, the other an enchantingly extravagant woman--whose sophistication make his own naivety painfully apparent. Each story in this luminous quartet explorers an emotional turning-point, either toward or away from self-knowledge--that moment when a young man of privilege suddenly finds his carefully nurtured superiority crumbling. In Casey’s beautiful prose, the experiences of these solitary narrators resonate with remarkable power.

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