A novel of erotic obsession, in which language itself has received the transferred charge of feeling.
—Richard Howard, The New York Times Book Review

Available April 1, 1974

Alphabetical Africa

Fiction by Walter Abish

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. 

Editions: Paperback

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Paperback (published April 1, 1974)

ISBN
9780811205337
Price US
16.95
Price CN
15

Walter Abish

Austrian-American Postmodern Novelist

A novel of erotic obsession, in which language itself has received the transferred charge of feeling.
—Richard Howard, The New York Times Book Review
Walter Abish has dovetailed his novel within a Procrustean scheme that has the terrifying and irrefutable logic of the alphabet. Alphabetical Africa is in the line of writers such as Raymond Roussel, Raymond Queneau, Georges Perec and Harry Mathews, who have used constrictive forms to penetrate the space on the other side of poetry.
—John Ashbery