A review, and links to other information about and reviews of Alphabetical Africa by Walter Abish. Walter Abish has dovetailed his novel within a Procrustean scheme that has the terrifying and irrefutable logic of the alphabet. Alphabetical. “Ages ago, Alex, Allen and Alva arrived at Antibes, and Alva, allowing all, allowing anyone, against Alex’s admonition, against Allen’s angry.

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I enjoyed this a great deal. It was funny, engaging, and interesting.


The oulipian constraint gave the book an interesting narrative drive: That’s because, abihs those authors Walter Abish was born in Vienna, Austria. Much of his childhood was spent in China.

He became an American citizen in Abish’s fascination with human communication led him to write works focused on the use of language. His first novel, Alphabetical Africawas an experiment in alliteration, moving forward and backward through the alphabet while telling the story. Throughout the s, he wrote short stories that demonstrated a variety of unique writing formats.


In Eclipse FeverAbish continues to play with language, this time within the context of a suspense story about Mexico’s social and intellectual elite. Account Options Sign in.

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Alphabetical Africa | novel by Abish |

New Directions Publishing- Fiction – pages. Alphabetical Africa, Walter Abish’s delightful first novel, is an extraordinary linguistic tour de force, high comedy set in an imaginary dark continent that expands and contracts with ineluctable precision, as one by one the author adds the letters of the alphabet to his book, and then subtracts them. While the “geoglyphic” African landscape forms and crumbles, it is, among other things, attacked by an army of driver ants, invaded by Zanzibar, painted orange by the transvestite Queen Quat of Tanzania, and becomes a hunting ground for a pair of murderous jewel thieves tracking down their nymphomaniac moll.

Selected pages Title Page. Alphabetical Africa Walter Abish No preview available –