Local News

Two authors, two road trips, two Americas

By From page A3 | October 29, 2013

Ethan Casey of Seattle and Bill Steigerwald of Pittsburgh, veteran journalists with often clashing political viewpoints, will appear together at The Avid Reader on Sunday, Nov. 3, at 1 p.m. to tell their stories and promote their American road books.

Casey’s “Home Free” and Steigerwald’s “Dogging Steinbeck,” both serious works of nonfiction, are enlightening, provocative and lively first-person accounts of their separate coast-to-coast travels and their impressions of America and its people.

Steigerwald’s book, which he calls a “literary exposé,” also contains many heretofore unpublished details about John Steinbeck’s actual “Travels With Charley” trip, how his book was edited and what he did on the West Coast leg of the cross-country trip he made in the fall of 1960 for his classic “nonfiction” road book.

Steigerwald’s findings forced “Charley’s” publisher to insert a disclaimer in the book’s introduction saying it was so heavily fictionalized it should not be taken literally.

In the fall of 2012, Casey drove clockwise around America during the election season. The result is an entertaining and edifying work of personal reporting in the spirit of his previous travel narratives, “Alive and Well in Pakistan” and “Bearing the Bruise: A Life Graced by Haiti.”

“I’m now turning my attention to another society struggling through a time of confusion, economic and political distress and transition,” Casey says. “America is susceptible to the same forces and trends as any other country.”

Casey covered Asia for newspapers including the Boston Globe and The Globe and Mail of Toronto and now speaks about Pakistan and Haiti at major universities and other venues. His website is ethancasey.com.

Steigerwald is a former newspaper writer and syndicated columnist from Pittsburgh who worked at the Los Angeles Times and two Pittsburgh dailies. His website is TruthAboutCharley.com.

Enterprise staff

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