Alphabetical Africa

Front Cover
New Directions Publishing, 1974 - Fiction - 152 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. "
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - le.vert.galant - LibraryThing

I enjoyed this a great deal. It was funny, engaging, and interesting. The oulipian constraint gave the book an interesting narrative drive: as the letters disappeared, one knew the characters would ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JimElkins - LibraryThing

This book isn't simply "in the line of writers such as Raymond Roussel, Raymond Queneau, Georges Perec and Harry Mathews," as Ashbery says in the back cover copy. That's because, unlike those authors ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

I
1
II
3
III
5
IV
7
V
10
VI
12
VII
14
VIII
16
XXVIII
74
XXIX
81
XXX
83
XXXI
87
XXXII
90
XXXIII
93
XXXIV
98
XXXV
102

IX
21
X
25
XI
27
XII
29
XIII
32
XIV
34
XV
37
XVI
39
XVII
42
XVIII
44
XIX
47
XX
51
XXI
55
XXII
57
XXIII
59
XXIV
61
XXV
62
XXVI
64
XXVII
65
XXXVI
107
XXXVII
110
XXXVIII
113
XXXIX
116
XL
118
XLI
120
XLII
123
XLIII
125
XLIV
128
XLV
132
XLVI
135
XLVII
138
XLVIII
140
XLIX
142
L
145
LI
148
LII
151
Copyright

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About the author (1974)

Walter Abish was born in Vienna in 1931. After moving to the United States in 1957, he taught at several universities in the US, served on the International PEN board, and won Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships. He lives in New York City.

Bibliographic information