Who is Ken Kesey?

Ken Kesey Popular Books

Ken Kesey Biography & Facts

Kenneth Elton Kesey (September 17, 1935 – November 10, 2001) was an American novelist, essayist, and countercultural figure. He considered himself a link between the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s. Kesey was born in La Junta, Colorado, and grew up in Springfield, Oregon, graduating from the University of Oregon in 1957. He began writing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 1960 following the completion of a graduate fellowship in creative writing at Stanford University; the novel was an immediate commercial and critical success when published two years later. During this period, Kesey participated in government studies involving hallucinogenic drugs (including mescaline and LSD) to supplement his income.Following the publication of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, he moved to nearby La Honda, California, and began hosting happenings with former colleagues from Stanford, miscellaneous bohemian and literary figures (most notably Neal Cassady), and other friends collectively known as the Merry Pranksters; these parties, known as Acid Tests, integrated the consumption of LSD with multimedia performances. He mentored the Grateful Dead (the de facto "house band" of the Acid Tests) throughout their incipience and continued to exert a profound influence upon the group throughout their long career. His second novel, Sometimes a Great Notion—an epic account of the vicissitudes of an Oregon logging family that aspired to the modernist grandeur of William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha saga—was a commercial success that polarized critics and readers upon its release in 1964, although Kesey regarded the novel as his magnum opus.In 1965, following an arrest for marijuana possession and subsequent faked suicide, Kesey was imprisoned for five months. Shortly thereafter, he returned home to the Willamette Valley and settled in Pleasant Hill, Oregon, where he maintained a secluded, family-oriented lifestyle for the rest of his life. In addition to teaching at the University of Oregon—an experience that culminated in Caverns (1989), a collaborative novel written by Kesey and his graduate workshop students under the pseudonym of "O.U. Levon"—he continued to regularly contribute fiction and reportage to such publications as Esquire, Rolling Stone, Oui, Running, and The Whole Earth Catalog; various iterations of these pieces were collected in Kesey's Garage Sale (1973) and Demon Box (1986). Between 1974 and 1980, Kesey published six issues of Spit in the Ocean, a literary magazine that featured excerpts from an unfinished novel (Seven Prayers by Grandma Whittier, an account of Kesey's grandmother's struggle with Alzheimer's disease) and contributions from intellectuals including Margo St. James, Kate Millett, Stewart Brand, Saul-Paul Sirag, Jack Sarfatti, Paul Krassner, and William S. Burroughs. After a third novel (Sailor Song) was released to lukewarm reviews in 1992, he reunited with the Merry Pranksters and began publishing works on the Internet until ill health (including a stroke) curtailed his activities. Kesey was also a part of the Church of the SubGenius. Biography Early life Kesey was born in La Junta, Colorado, to dairy farmers Geneva (née Smith) and Frederick A. Kesey. In 1946, the family moved to Springfield, Oregon. Kesey was a champion wrestler in high school and college in the 174-pound weight division. He almost qualified to be on the Olympic team, but a serious shoulder injury stopped his wrestling career. He graduated from Springfield High School in 1953. An avid reader and filmgoer, the young Kesey took John Wayne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Zane Grey as his role models (later naming a son Zane) and toyed with magic, ventriloquism, and hypnotism.In 1956, while attending the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication in neighboring Eugene, Oregon, Kesey eloped with his high-school sweetheart, Oregon State College student Norma "Faye" Haxby, whom he had met in seventh grade. According to Kesey, "Without Faye, I would have been swept overboard by notoriety and weird, dope-fueled ideas and flower-child girls with beamy eyes and bulbous breasts." Married until his death at the age of 66, they had three children: Jed, Zane, and Shannon. Additionally, with the approval of Faye Kesey, Ken fathered a daughter, Sunshine Kesey, with fellow Merry Prankster Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Adams. Born in 1966, Sunshine was raised by Adams and her stepfather, Jerry Garcia.Kesey had a football scholarship for his first year, but switched to the University of Oregon wrestling team as a better fit for his build. After posting a .885 winning percentage in the 1956–57 season, he received the Fred Low Scholarship for outstanding Northwest wrestler. In 1957, Kesey was second in his weight class at the Pacific Coast intercollegiate competition. He remains "ranked in the top 10 of Oregon Wrestling's all time winning percentage."A member of Beta Theta Pi throughout his studies, Kesey graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in speech and communication in 1957. Increasingly disengaged by the playwriting and screenwriting courses that comprised much of his major, he began to take literature classes in the second half of his collegiate career with James B. Hall, a cosmopolitan alumnus of the Iowa Writers' Workshop who had previously taught at Cornell University and later served as provost of College V at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Hall took on Kesey as his protege and cultivated his interest in literary fiction, introducing Kesey (whose reading interests were hitherto confined to science fiction) to the works of Ernest Hemingway and other paragons of literary modernism. After the last of several brief summer sojourns as a struggling actor in Los Angeles, he published his first short story ("First Sunday of September") in the Northwest Review and successfully applied to the highly selective Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship for the 1958–59 academic year. Unbeknownst to Kesey, who applied at Hall's request, the maverick literary critic Leslie Fiedler (then based at the University of Montana) successfully importuned the regional fellowship committee to select the "rough-hewn" Kesey alongside more traditional fellows from Reed College and other elite institutions. Because he lacked the prerequisites to work toward a traditional master's degree in English as a communications major, Kesey elected to enroll in the non-degree program at Stanford University's Creative Writing Center that fall. While studying and working in the Stanford milieu over the next five years, most of them spent as a resident of Perry Lane (a historically bohemian enclave adjacent to the university golf course), he developed intimate lifelong friendships with fellow writers Ken Babbs, Larry McMurtry, Wendell Berry, Ed McClanahan, Gurney Norman, and Robert Stone.During his initial fellowship year, Kesey frequently clashed with Center director Wallace Stegner.... Discover the Ken Kesey popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Ken Kesey books.

Best Seller Ken Kesey Books of March 2021

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest book summary, reviews and downlod

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

4/5$5.99

A Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition of a counterculture classic, and the inspiration for the new Netflix original series Ratched, with a foreword by Chuck Palahniuk

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest book summary, reviews and downlod

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

4.5/5$5.99

A Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition of a counterculture classic, and the inspiration for the new Netflix original series Ratched, with a foreword by Chuck Palahniuk

Sometimes a Great Notion book summary, reviews and downlod

Sometimes a Great Notion

4.5/5$9.99

The magnificent second novel from the legendary author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Sailor Song is a wild-spirited and hugely powerful tale of an Oregon logging cl...

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest book summary, reviews and downlod

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

4/5$4.99

Tyrannical Nurse Ratched rules her ward in an Oregon State mental hospital with a strict and unbending routine, unopposed by her patients, who remain cowed by mind-numbing medication and the...

Sometimes a Great Notion book summary, reviews and downlod

Sometimes a Great Notion

0/5$4.99

The magnificent second novel from the legendary author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest... Following the astonishing success of his first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest...

Prelet nad kukučím hniezdom book summary, reviews and downlod

Prelet nad kukučím hniezdom

0/5$13.99

Román Prelet nad kukučím hniezdom preslávila filmová adaptácia Miloša Formana v hlavnej úlohe s Jackom Nicholsonom. Rozprávač, psychická obeť druhej svetovej vojny, Poloindián B...

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest book summary, reviews and downlod

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

4.5/5$9.99

An international bestseller and the basis for the hugely successful film, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one of the defining works of the 1960s.In t...

Einer flog über das Kuckucksnest book summary, reviews and downlod

Einer flog über das Kuckucksnest

0/5$12.99

"Eine der wichtigsten literarischen Publikationen der Nachkriegszeit." (Norddeutscher Rundfunk)Eines der großen tragikomischen Bücher der Gegenwartsliteratur. Voller Realistik, ungla...

Στη Φωλιά του Κούκου book summary, reviews and downlod

Στη Φωλιά του Κούκου

0/5$14.99

Σκληρό, προκλητικό και βαθιά συγκλονιστικό, το μοναδικό μυθιστόρημα του Ken Kesey έχει αφήσει το ανεξίτηλο ...

Lot nad kukułczym gniazdem book summary, reviews and downlod

Lot nad kukułczym gniazdem

0/5$7.99

W Ameryce lat sześćdziesiątych XX wieku nie wydano lepszej powieści! Lektura Lotu nad kukułczym gniazdem wywołuje dreszcze i uczucie klaustrofobii.Mimo to trudno się powst...

Vyhoďme ho z kola ven book summary, reviews and downlod

Vyhoďme ho z kola ven

0/5$8.99

Nové vydání nejúspěšnějšího románu amerického autora, který se v 60. letech stal spisovatelskou ikonou květinových dětí. Kesey vypráví příběh nezkrotného opozičníka M...

Best Seller Ken Kesey Audio Books of March 2021

Sometimes a Great Notion (Modern Classic) MP3 Audiobook

Sometimes a Great Notion (Modern Classic)

Fiction$26.99

A literary icon sometimes seen as a bridge between the Beat Generation and the hippies, Ken Kesey scored an unexpected hit with his first novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. His success...

Qualcuno volò sul nido del cuculo (Collana Letteratura e Cinema) MP3 Audiobook

Qualcuno volò sul nido del cuculo (Collana Letteratura e Cinema)

Classics$13.99

Straordinario, memorabile romanzo, Qualcuno volò sul nido del cuculo è la storia della ribellione contro un ordine malefico e implacabile capace di creare schiavi e dittatori. Nel reparto ...

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest MP3 Audiobook

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Fiction$14.99

Ken Kesey’s story of life in a state mental hospital is a classic of American literature.One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is one of the most electrifying, most admired ...

Qualcuno volò sul nido del cuculo: Collana Letteratura e Cinema MP3 Audiobook

Qualcuno volò sul nido del cuculo: Collana Letteratura e Cinema

Classics$13.99

Straordinario, memorabile romanzo, Qualcuno volò sul nido del cuculo è la storia della ribellione contro un ordine malefico e implacabile capace di creare schiavi e dittatori. Nel reparto ...

Vol au-dessus d'un nid de coucou MP3 Audiobook

Vol au-dessus d'un nid de coucou

Fiction$16.99

« Un monde de carton-pâte peuplé de personnages en trompe-l’oeil, surgis de quelque histoire de fou qui serait vraiment drôle si ces héros n’étaient pas des types en chair et en os...

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: 50th Anniversary Edition (Unabridged) MP3 Audiobook

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: 50th Anniversary Edition (Unabridged)

Fiction$12.99

A fiftieth-anniversary edition of Ken Kesey's searing American classic. Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest has ...

Einer flog über das Kuckucksnest (Ungekürzt) MP3 Audiobook

Einer flog über das Kuckucksnest (Ungekürzt)

Fiction$12.99

Es gibt Romane, die vor allem über ihre Verfilmungen bekannt wurden, und bei manchen davon ist das ein bisschen schade. EINER FLOG ÜBERS KUCKUCKSNEST von Ken Kesey ist so ein Roman, bei de...

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