Walter Abish  

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"As alien airforce attacks Angola, Albert asks, are anthills anywhere about, agreeing as Alex asserts, all Angolans are absolute asses. Are all archeologists arrogant Aristotelians, asks author, as Angolans abduct Alva."--Alphabetical Africa (1974) by Walter Abish

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Walter Abish (1931 - 2022) was an American writer known for such novels as Alphabetical Africa (1974) and How German Is It (1980).



Abish was born in Vienna, Austria. At a young age, his family fled from the Nazis, traveling first to Italy and Nice before settling in Shanghai from 1940 to 1949. In 1949, they moved to Israel, where Abish served in the army and developed an interest in writing. He moved to the United States in 1957 and became an American citizen in 1960. Since 1975, Abish has taught at several eastern universities and colleges. Abish received the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 1981 for his book How German Is It.

Abish's work shows both imaginative and experimental elements. In Alphabetical Africa, for instance, the first chapter consists entirely of words beginning with the letter "A." In the second chapter, words beginning with "B" appear, and so on through the alphabet. In the Future Perfect is a collection of short stories where words are juxtaposed in unusual patterns.

Personal life

Abish married Cecile Gelb, a photographer and sculptor, in 1953. They remained married until his death. They did not have children.

Linking in at time of death

Abish (Book of Mormon), Alliteration, Alphabetical Africa, Burning Deck Press, Cecile Abish, Coleman Dowell, Confrontation (journal), Conjunctions, Constrained writing, Gadsby (novel), German literature, Heide Hatry, How German Is It, Ingram Merrill Foundation, List of American novelists, List of literary movements, List of people from Vienna, MacArthur Fellows Program, Middle Eastern Americans, New Directions Publishing, PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, Roberta Allen, Ron Linden, Women and Men


See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Walter Abish" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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