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Walter Abish
Born December 24, 1931 (1931-12-24) (age 78)
Occupation Author

Walter Abish (born December 24, 1931) is an Austrian-American author of experimental novels and short stories.


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. He has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship, and sits on the contributing editorial board of the literary journal Conjunctions.

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 "A" and "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.


  • Duel Site (poetry)- 1970
  • Alphabetical Africa - 1974
  • Minds Meet - 1975
  • In the Future Perfect - 1977
  • How German Is It (Wie deutsch ist es) - 1980
  • 99: The New Meaning - 1990
  • Eclipse Fever - 1993
  • Double Vision: A Self-Portrait (memoir) - 2004

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Walter Abish (born December 24, 1931) is a famous Austrian-born American author of experimental novels and short stories.


  • America fears the unshaven legs, the unshaven men's cheeks, the aroma of perspiration, and the limp prick. Above all it fears the limp prick.
    • Walter Abish (1977). In the Future Perfect. New Directions. pp. Pg. 22. ISBN 0811206602.  

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