Ken Kesey was born in 1935 and grew up in Oregon. He graduated from the University of Oregon and later studied at Stanford with Wallace Stegner, Malcolm Cowley, Richard Scowcroft, and Frank O' Connor. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, his first novel, was published in 1962. His second novel, Sometimes a Great Notion, followed in 1964. His other books include Kesey's Garage Sale, Demon Box, Caverns (with O. U. Levon), The Further Inquiry, Sailor Song, and Last Go Round (with Ken Babbs). His two children's books are Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear and The Sea Lion. Ken Kesey died on November 10, 2001.
"As in Cuckoo's Nest, Kesey brings to life people you will
never forget . . . Getting into this book is getting into a
fascinating, crazy world of a fascinating, crazy family which has a
throbbing reality and a desperate dedication to living . . . and
then there is that great gift for comedy, for purely sensational
writing. When Kesey describes the Canada honkers flying over the
woods you can almost see them; when he describes the smells of the
grass and the tastes of the strawberries you feel and you smell and
--Ralph J. Gleason, San Francisco Chronicle
"Sometimes a Great Notion, a big book in every way,
captures the tenor of the post-Korea America as nothing I can
remember reading . . . Beyond the PTA and the beer commercials,
beyond the huge effluvium of the times, exist people who live by
the ancient passions, and Mr. Kesey in the fullness of his material
discovers them for us."
--The New York Times Book Review "A tremendous achievement . . . Set against the damp and brutal background of an Oregon logging community, the book by turns gasps, pants, whoops, and shrieks . . . you cannot help but admire Kesey's vigor, his profligate command of the language. And you have to stand back in awe of the man's ability to create character."
--The Cleveland Plain Dealer