Profile of Daniel Keyes
Daniel Keyes was a writer and professor of creative writing whose best known work was Flowers for Algernon, a 1966 science fiction novella that became a staple of English literature classes. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Keyes began his writing career as an editor for pulp magazines and comic books in the 1950s. Originally published as a short story in 1959, Flowers for Algernon was the story of Charlie, a patient who undergoes surgery that briefly makes him a genius before he degenerates into mental incapacity. The story won a Hugo award, and Keyes refashioned it into a novella that won a Nebula award and was made into a 1968 movie (Charly, whose star, Cliff Robertson, won an Oscar). Keyes had college degrees from Brooklyn University (1950) and Wayne State University (1961), and after 1966 he taught creative writing at Ohio University. His other novels include The Touch (1968) and The Fifth Sally (1980), and he also wrote non-fiction books, including The Minds of Billy Milligan (1981) and a memoir, Algernon, Charlie and I: A Writer's Journey (2000).
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