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Literary manuscripts by David Ohle

Call Number: PP 9


David Ohle, an alum of the University of Kansas, has written and edited novels, short stories, poetry, and other works of fiction, as well as some non-fiction. Included in this collection is a manuscript of The Whole Moldenke (titled Motorman on publication) and a galley sheet (printer's proof) of a work titled The Moldenke. It also includes manuscripts of The Pisstown Chaos and Blown Away - The Freak in Kansas, as well as several drafts of "Chili Hearts" and drafts for other works by Ohle, as well as some correspondence.


  • Creation: 1970-2010s


Conditions Governing Access

These materials are stored in the KU Annex off-site storage area.

All researchers interested in reviewing this material must consult Spencer Research Library Public Services staff (785-864-4334 or, 9-5 M-F CST) no less than three days in advance of a planned visit. Be advised that drop-in requests for this material cannot be accommodated.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of David Ohle

David Ohle, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, received his B.S. from Louisiana State University in 1965. In 1968 he began working on a master's degree in English at the University of Kansas, which he completed in 1972. David Ohle's first novel, Motorman, written as his master's thesis, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1972, after being excerpted in Esquire Magazine in January of that year. Over the next few years, his short fiction appeared in the Transatlantic Review, Paris Review, Harper's and elsewhere. He also edited the non-fiction oral history, Cows are Freaky when they Look at You: An Oral History of the Kaw Valley Hemp Pickers (Watermark Press, 1991).

Ohle taught at the University of Texas in Austin from 1975 - 1984. He then returned to Lawrence and continued to write and publish. In 2002 he began teaching fiction writing and screenwriting as a part-time lecturer at KU. Motorman was re-issued in 2004 by 3rd Bed Press (Providence, R.I.) with an introduction by Ben Marcus. In the same year his novel The Age of Sinatra was published by Soft Skull Press (Brooklyn, N.Y.). In 2006 he compiled and edited the memoir, Cursed from Birth: The Short, Unhappy Life of William S. Burroughs, Jr. (Soft Skull Press).


9.5 Linear Feet (10 boxes)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

PP 9

Physical Location

Annex (Contact Spencer Library Public Services)

Related Materials

Consult library staff regarding the availability of related photographs, biographical files, and scrapbooks.

Guide to the David Ohle Collection
Literary manuscripts by David Ohle
Finding aid prepared by sk, 2005. Finding aid encoded by sk, 2005. Finding aid revised by tw, 2010; gem, 2019.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Literary manuscripts by David Ohle, University Archives, PP 9, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States