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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Expanded Edition

Kesey, Ken Author

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9781598870527: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Expanded Edition

Now available with bonus Fresh Air with Terry Gross interview with the late Ken Kesey.

Ken Kesey's story of life in a state mental hospital is a classic of American literature. This collection features not only a Fresh Air with Terry Gross interview with the late Ken Kesey but also narration by the author himself.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Fresh Air with TERRY GROSS, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Terry Gross started out in public radio in 1973, at WBFO in Buffalo. Soon after she became producer and host of Fresh Air, then a live, daily show broadcast locally, at WHYY in 1975. Fresh Air premiered nationally in its current hour-long version in 1987, designed as the lead in to the program All Things Considered. A recipient of the 2003 Edward R. Murrow award, Terry Gross has been called by the L.A. Times "One of the most thought-provoking interviewers working in the media today."

KEN KESEY was born in 1935 in Colorado and grew up in Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon, he received a Stegner fellowship from Stanford University, where he studied fiction under Wallace Stegner, Malcolm Cowley, and Frank O'Connor. Kesey's first two novels, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion, brought him great literary fame. His other books include Kesey's Garage Sale, Demon Box, The Further Inquiry, and the novels Sailor Song (1992) and, with Ken Babbs, Last Go Round. His children's books include Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear and The Sea Lion. Kesey died in 2001.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Sketches

Psychedelic sixties. God knows whatever that means it certainly meant far more than drugs, though drugs still work as a pretty good handle to the phenomena.

I grabbed at that handle. Legally, too, I might add. Almost patriotically, in fact. Early psychedelic sixties...

Eight o'clock every Tuesday morning I showed up at the vet's hospital in Menlo Park, ready to roll. The doctor deposited me in a little room on his ward, dealt me a couple of pills or a shot or a little glass of bitter juice, then locked the door. He checked back every forty minutes to see if I was still alive, took some tests, asked some questions, left again. The rest of the time I spent studying the inside of my forehead, or looking out the little window in the door. It was six inches wide and eight inches high, and it had heavy chicken wire inside the glass.

You get your visions through whatever gate you're granted.

Patients straggled by in the hall outside, their faces all ghastly confessions. Sometimes I looked at them and sometimes they looked at me. but rarely did we look at one another. It was too naked and painful. More was revealed in a human face than a human being can bear, face-to-face.

Sometimes the nurse came by and checked on me. Her face was different. It was painful business, but not naked. This was not a person you could allow yourself to be naked in front of.

Six months or so later I had finished the drug experiments and applied for a job. I was taken on as a nurse's aide, in the same ward, with the same doctor, under the same nurse—and you must understand we're talking about a huge hospital here! It was weird.

But, as I said, it was the sixties.

Those faces were still there, still painfully naked. To ward them off my case I very prudently took to carrying around a little notebook, to scribble notes. I got a lot of compliments from nurses: "Good for you, Mr. Kesey. That's the spirit. Get to know these men."

I also scribbled faces. No, that's not correct. As I prowl through this stack of sketches I can see that these faces bored their way behind my forehead and scribbled themselves. I just held the pen and waited for the magic to happen.

This was, after all, the sixties.

Ken Kesey

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