One of Lee K. Abbott’s most exciting selections from All Things, All at Once is now available in a handsome limited edition perfect-bound chapbook. The story follows Mr. DeWine, a high school civics teacher looking for the love that will bring meaning to his middle years, and the two alienated students who plot death, havoc, and woe. A lightning ride from start to finish, with Abbott’s signature voice carrying the reader throughout.
“Lee K Abbott breaks nearly every rule of short story writing in One of Star Wars, One of Doom — but always to achieve the effect that ‘the rules’ are designed to facilitate. The omniscient point of view in short stories is hard to pull off, and few contemporary writers try it, but the omniscience in this story is the most effective choice, because it allows for the community consciousness of the high school to emerge. Likewise, using current events, such as the Columbine shootings, is hard to successfully pull off, but in this case it adds depth to the story and the story adds depth to our understanding of the events (not that this story is exactly based on the Columbine tragedy, but the similarities are numerous and clearly intentional).
This story displays flashback, flash-forward, direct address to the reader, humor, authorial intrusion, and many more writerly tactics. It’s clear that there’s no strategy Lee K Abbott won’t use to meet the needs of his story. And it’s us, his readers, who gain the most from these efforts.”
— OKLA ELLIOTT
“This is fiction in the mode of John Cheever, written for the long run, marking out those days when all you love hovers right there–maybe forever, or maybe it’s about to disappear. Lee Abbott is one terrific writer.”
— WILLIAM KENNEDY
“There is often a glimmer of light in his stories, and Abbott’s absolutely individual voice broadens that glimmer to a gleam as his characters work at finding a way to live. His sense of shape, and the voice that drives his narrative, are the achievements of a master of the form.”
— FREDERICK BUSCH
“All Things, All at Once is…a florid and rich cornucopia of stories, full of exuberance, passion, gravity, consolation, and utter zaniness. It is a rare collection and puts Abbott’s great versatility and masterful narrative skills on vivid display.”
— RICHARD FORD
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Abbott has won the St. Lawrence award for Fiction and received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Major Artist Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council. In addition to appearing in such places as Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Georgia Review, Abbott’s stories have been published in The Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. Abbott has taught Creative Writing at Case Western, Washington University, and Rice University. He currently lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife Pam, and teaches in the Creative Writing program at The Ohio State University.