Kesey, Ken

Kesey, Ken

▪ American author
in full  Ken Elton Kesey  
born September 17, 1935, La Junta, Colorado, U.S.
died November 10, 2001, Eugene, Oregon

      American writer who was a hero of the countercultural revolution and the hippie movement of the 1960s.

      Kesey was educated at the University of Oregon and Stanford University. At a Veterans Administration hospital in Menlo Park, California, he was a paid volunteer experimental subject, taking mind-altering drugs and reporting on their effects. This experience and his work as an aide at the hospital served as background for his best-known novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962; film, 1975), which is set in a mental hospital. He further examined values in conflict in Sometimes a Great Notion (1964).

      In the nonfiction Kesey's Garage Sale (1973), Demon Box (1986), and The Further Inquiry (1990), Kesey wrote of his travels and psychedelic experiences with the Merry Pranksters, a group that traveled together in a bus during the 1960s. Tom Wolfe (Wolfe, Tom) recounted many of their adventures in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968). In 1967 Kesey fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution for possession of marijuana. He returned to California, served a brief sentence, and then moved to a farm near Eugene, Oregon.

      In 1988 Kesey published a children's book, Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear. With 13 of his graduate students in creative writing at the University of Oregon, he wrote a mystery novel, Caverns (1990), under the joint pseudonym of O.U. Levon, which read backward is “novel U.O. (University of Oregon).” In Sailor Song (1992), a comedy set in an Alaskan fishing village that becomes the backdrop for a Hollywood film, Kesey examined environmental crises and the end of the world. Subsequently, with the collaboration of Ken Babbs, he wrote a neo-western, Last Go Round (1994).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Kesey, Ken Elton — (1935–2001)    Ken Kesey is best considered as a bridge between the Beats and their inheritors, the hippies, as he is associated more with the West Coast countercultural phenomenon during the 1960s than he is with the luminaries of the Beat… …   Encyclopedia of Beat Literature

  • Kesey, Ken Elton — ▪ 2002       American writer (b. Sept. 17, 1935, La Junta, Colo. d. Nov. 10, 2001, Eugene, Ore.), became an icon of the counterculture with both his first book, One Flew over the Cuckoo s Nest (1962), and his hippie lifestyle as he and a group of …   Universalium

  • Kesey, Ken (Elton) — born Sept. 17, 1935, La Junta, Colo., U.S. died Nov. 10. 2001, Eugene, Ore. U.S. writer. He attended Stanford University and later served as an experimental subject and aide in a hospital, an experience that led to his novel One Flew over the… …   Universalium

  • Kesey, Ken (Elton) — (17 sep. 1935, La Junta, Col., EE.UU.–10 nov. 2001, Eugene, Ore.). Escritor estadounidense. Asistió a la Universidad de Stanford y más tarde sirvió de sujeto experimental y auxiliar en un hospital, experiencia que motivó su novela Alguien voló… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Kesey — Ken Kesey auf dem Miami Book Fair (1984) Ken Kesey Statue in Eugene, Oregon (USA) Kenneth Elton „Ken“ Kesey (* 17. September 1935 in La Junta, Color …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ken — /ken/, n., v., kenned or kent, kenning. n. 1. knowledge, understanding, or cognizance; mental perception: an idea beyond one s ken. 2. range of sight or vision. v.t. 3. Chiefly Scot. a. to know, have knowledge of or about, or be acquainted with… …   Universalium

  • Ken — /ken/, n. a male given name, form of Kendall or Kenneth. * * * (as used in expressions) Griffey Ken Kesey Ken Elton Saro Wiwa Ken * * * …   Universalium

  • Ken Kesey — Infobox Writer name = Ken Kesey birthdate = birth date|1935|9|17 birthplace = La Junta, Colorado deathdate = death date and age|2001|11|10|1935|9|17 deathplace = Pleasant Hill, Oregon occupation = Novelist, short story writer, essayist… …   Wikipedia

  • Ken Elton Kesey — noun United States writer whose best known novel was based on his experiences as an attendant in a mental hospital (1935 2001) • Syn: ↑Kesey, ↑Ken Kesey • Instance Hypernyms: ↑writer, ↑author …   Useful english dictionary

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