John Casey (novelist)

John D. Casey (born 1939 in Worcester, Massachusetts) is an American novelist and translator. He won the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction in 1989 for Spartina.[1]

John D. Casey
Years active1977–present
Notable work
Spartina, 1989
  • Jane Barnes
  • Rosamond Casey
  • Roberts (Robin) Browning Carey


Casey went to school at Harvard College, Harvard Law School, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. He currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. Among others, writer Breece D'J Pancake studied under him.[2]

Casey's papers reside at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia.


Casey's brother-in-law is Nobel Prize-winning physician Harold E. Varmus.

Casey's father is former Massachusetts representative Joseph E. Casey.

Casey has two adult daughters from his first marriage to novelist Jane Barnes: Nell Casey and Maud Casey. Maud Casey is a published author in her own right, with two well-reviewed novels and a collection of short stories to her credit. Nell Casey is the editor of the essay collection "Unholy Ghost" on depression and creativity, including essays by herself and her sister, and editor of a second essay collection "An Uncertain Inheritance" by contributors caring for family through illness and death.

He also has two daughters, Clare and Julia, from his second marriage to artist and calligrapher Rosamond Casey.

In 2012, John Casey married social media executive Roberts Browning Fray (who went by Robin Fray Carey professionally), whom he first met when she studied English at The University of Virginia in 1976. Casey was widowed on December 17, 2015, when Robin Fray Carey was killed in an automobile accident in Fauquier County, Virginia.[3]

Title IX complaints

In November 2017, Casey was accused of sexually harassing Emma C. Eisenberg, a graduate of the University of Virginia's M.F.A. program.[4] A second anonymous M.F.A. student filed an additional Title IX complaint at the same time.[4] Several weeks later, a third student, Sharon Harrigan, accused Casey of sexual harassment and gender bias.[5] On November 30, 2017, the university's Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights announced that Casey would not be teaching during the spring 2018 semester, nor would he be advising or mentoring students.[6]

In December 2018, a UVA investigation found sufficient evidence that Casey kissed and inappropriately touched a female undergraduate student in 2001.[7] The investigator also found that, “nearly 30 years ago”[8] (approximately 1989), Casey made a sexual advance toward one of his female graduate students.[8] Ultimately, the disciplinary panel determined that Casey was “unfit for continued teaching responsibilities”[7] and made a unanimous recommendation to terminate his employment.[7] However, Casey retired before the sanction could be carried out.[8]

In March 2019, Casey was found responsible for additional Title IX violations in a separate UVA investigation.[9] Among the supported allegations, Casey used the word c--- while teaching, called a student a “sexy Irish pirate”, commented regularly on female students’ appearances, and showed up uninvited to a female student’s house and “was overly critical and hostile to her when she rebuffed him”.[9] The panel recommended that Casey be permanently banned from UVA property and made ineligible for paid or unpaid UVA employment.[9]




  • An American Romance, Atheneum (1977) ISBN 978-0-689-10770-2
  • Testimony and Demeanor, Knopf (1979) ISBN 978-0-394-50097-3
  • Spartina, Knopf (1989) ISBN 978-0-394-50098-0[10]
  • Supper at the Black Pearl, Lord John Press (1996) ISBN 978-0-935716-65-8
  • The Half-life of Happiness, Knopf (1998) ISBN 978-0-375-70608-0
  • Compass Rose, Knopf, (2010) ISBN 978-0-375-41025-3


  • Room For Improvement: Notes on a Dozen Lifelong Sports, Knopf (2011) ISBN 9780307700025
  • Beyond the First Draft: The Art of Fiction, W. W. Norton & Company (2014) ISBN 978-0-393-24108-2


  • Alessandro Boffa (2002). You're an Animal, Viskovitz!. Translator John Casey. Random House, Inc. ISBN 978-0-375-40528-0.
  • Linda Ferri (2006). Enchantments. Translator John Casey. Vintage. ISBN 978-1-4000-3352-2.


  1. "National Book Awards – 1989". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
    (With essay by Harold Augenbraum from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog.)
  2. "John Casey (1939– )". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved December 26, 2009.
  3. "killed in an automobile accident in Fauquier County, Virginia". Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  4. Mangan, Katherine (November 22, 2017). "Prominent Creative-Writing Professor at UVa Is Accused of Sexually Harassing Students". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Archived from the original on 2017-11-22. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  5. Serven, Ruth (November 28, 2017). "New Title IX complaint filed against Casey". The Daily Progress. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  6. Gluckman, Nell (November 30, 2017). "UVa Professor Accused of Sexual Harassment Will Not Teach in the Spring". Chronicle of Higher Education. Archived from the original on 2017-12-02. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  7. SMITH, RUTH SERVEN. "UVa panel finds Casey responsible of inappropriate sexual contact with student". The Daily Progress. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  9. SMITH, RUTH SERVEN. "UVa panel recommends ban for Casey after sexual harassment findings". The Daily Progress. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  10. "The Book Inscriptions Project » Blog Archive » The Beauty of the Written Word". September 29, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
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