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Ken Kesey

Biography

Ken Kesey was born in La Junta, Colorado in 1935. His father ran a dairy cooperative. He graduated from the University of Oregon in speech and communications and enrolled in Stanford’s creative writing programme. He volunteered to take part in an experiment on the effect of psychedelic drugs at a hospital in Menlo Park, California. He later worked there as an orderly. Both experiences would help him when he came to write One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. When it was published, the novel had considerable success and he and his family moved to Oregon, where he started writing Sometimes a Great Notion. He became associated with many of the Beat Generation and, in particularly, a group that would be called The Merry Pranksters. Their first initial activity was their (in)famous bus trip from California to New York, nominally to publicise Sometimes a Great Notion but also to promote the use of LSD, which was still legal in the USA at that time. He continued his use of drugs and was arrested and imprisoned for using marijuana though he tried to escape conviction by faking his suicide and fleeing to Mexico. After his release, he moved back to the family farm in Oregon, where he spent the rest of his life, writing books and articles. He continued his activities with the Pranksters, performing Twister in 1994. He died in 2001, following a bout of liver cancer. He will be remembered for producing two of the most important novels of the latter part of the twentieth century in the USA.

Other links

Ken Kesey
Ken Kesey
Ken Kesey
Ken Kesey
Ken Kesey
Ken Kesey
Key-Z Productions (the”official” Ken Kesey site run by his son)
Ken Kesey, 1935-2001
Ken Kesey 1935-2001
Biography of Ken Kesey (1935-2001)
Obituary
Obituary
Obituary
Selected Bibliography for Ken Kesey
Interview
Interview
Interview

Merry Pranksters

Ken Kesey & the Merry Pranksters
Ken Kesey & the Merry Pranksters
Ken Kesey (1935-2001) and the Merry Pranksters
Merry Pranksters
Who Were the Merry Pranksters?

Bibliography

1962 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (novel)
1964 Sometimes a Great Notion (novel)
1973 Kesey’s Garage Sale (essays)
1986 Demon Box (essays/stories)
1989 Caverns (novel)
1990 Little Tricker The Squirrel Meets Big Double The Bear (juvenile)
1990 The Further inquiry (drama)
1991 The Sea Lion: A Story of the Sea Cliff People (juvenile)
1992 Sailor Song (novel)
1994 Last Go Round (with Ken Babbs) (novel)
1994 Twister (drama)
2003 Kesey’s Jail Journal