Walter Abish Biography
(1931– ), Duel Site, The Alphabetical Africa, In the Future Perfect, How German Is It?
American novelist and short-story writer, born in Vienna; he grew up in China and Israel before settling in the USA. He has worked as a lecturer and teacher in a variety of American colleges and universities since 1975. His work is characterized by an experimentalism and a sense of philosophical enquiry which have led to some claims that he can in some way be separated from the sources and strengths of American writing. His early collection of poems, Duel Site (1970), was followed by several works of fiction including the novels The Alphabetical Africa (1974), In the Future Perfect (1975), How German Is It? (1979), Ninety-Nine: The New Meaning (1990), and Eclipse Fever (1993). In each work different techniques are employed to investigate the connections and spaces between reality and language, and to develop insights into both American and non-American cultures from his double position of insider and outsider. His works have also been published widely in anthologies, and in magazines such as the Partisan Review, Transatlantic Review, New York Arts Journal, and Paris Review. A collection of fiction entitled Destiny: Tomorrow's Truth appeared in 1992.