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Here is a brief introduction to Flowers for Algernon.

The story, about a mentally retarded man whose IQ is tripled as the result of an experimental operation, was widely acclaimed and enormously popular. The story received one of science fiction’s highest honors, the Hugo Award, for best story of the year in 1959. In 1961, a successful television adaptation, The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon, starred Cliff Robertson as Charlie. Still interested in the character of Charlie and the ideas contained in the short story, Keyes set out to enlarge “Flowers for Algernon” into a full-length novel. The result, published in 1966, won the Nebula Award—science fiction’s other highest honor—for best novel of the year and expanded dramatically on the popularity of the short story. In 1968, the novel version was adapted again, this time for a feature film called Charly. Cliff Robertson reprised his role as Charlie Gordon and won an Academy Award for his performance. The story has since been adapted many times in many media, notably in 1978 as a short-lived Broadway musical, Charlie and Algernon, and as a television drama in 2000 starring Matthew Modine.

SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Flowers for Algernon.” SparkNotes LLC. 2002. Web. 11 May 2015.



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