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Ken Kesey was an internationally renowned Oregonian novelist, essayist, and counterculture figure most famous for his book One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and his psychedelic cross-country bus tour immortalized in Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite.
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Kesey's youngest daughter, Sunshine, was born to him and Merry Prankster Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Adams Garcia during this nine-month exile.
Upon his return to the United States, Kesey was convicted of drug possession and spent six months in San Mateo County Jail and the San Mateo County Sherriff's Honor Camp.
Together they had three children, Jed, Zane, and Shannon. Kesey was encouraged by his former literature professor, James B.
Hall, to apply for a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship.Personal legal documents have been restricted to comply with attorney-client privilege.Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room.He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1957.In 1956, while still a student, Kesey married Norma Faye Haxby.In 1973, Kesey published Kesey's Garage Sale, a collection of his works including the screenplay for Over the Border, a fictionalized account of his sojourn to Mexico. The Ken Kesey papers document his work as a novelist, essayist, short story author, and playwright, as well as his public life as figure who embodied the spirit of American counterculture movements in the 1960s.Kesey continued to publish short stories and essays for the next ten years, culminating in 1986's Demon Box, a collection of short fiction and non-fiction pieces, many of which had appeared in other publications including Kesey's own literary journal Spit In the Ocean. In the 1980s and 90s, Kesey continued to write, make public appearances, perform, and organize gatherings of Pranksters and fans in the spirit of the original "Further" bus trip and the Acid Tests. This collection contains correspondence, manuscripts and publications, personal journals and artwork, event and tour material, press clippings, personal memorabilia, and creative works by members of Kesey's artistic circle, the Merry Pranksters.In 1989, Kesey published Caverns, his first novel since Sometimes a Great Notion, which was co-written with University of Oregon graduate students and published under the pseudonym O. Kesey wrote two children's books, Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear and The Sea Lion, and published his screenplay The Further Inquiry and his final two novels, Sailor Song and Last Go Around during this time. While this collection is primarily representative of Kesey's public life as both a writer and counterculture icon, some more personal artifacts, including journals and family mementos, have been preserved as part of this collection.Kesey suffered a stroke in 1997, but recovered to perform as the Wizard of Oz in his play Twister: A Ritual Reality in Three Quarters Plus Overtime If Necessary. The correspondence series contains incoming and outgoing general and business correspondence, fan letters, phone logs, email printouts, and address books.After Kesey and "his band of Merry Pranksters" returned to La Honda in 1965, they busied themselves by editing film footage of the bus trip, and organizing parties known as the Acid Tests.The Grateful Dead served as the house band for many of these gatherings.