Lee K. Abbott Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Insisting that he lacks the energy to write a novel, Lee K. Abbott sticks to the short story as his genre of choice. He wrote a chapter of the novel The Putt at the End of the World (2000).


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Lee K. Abbott’s stories have been selected to appear in The Best American Short Stories (“The Final Proof of Fate and Circumstances,” 1984, and “Dreams of Distant Lives,” 1987), Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards (“The Final Proof of Fate and Circumstances,” 1984 and “Living Alone in Iota,” 1984), and The Pushcart Prize (1984, 1987, and 1989). He has twice received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1979 and 1985), the St. Lawrence Award for Fiction (1981), the Editors Choice Award from Wampeter-Doubleday (1986), the National Magazine Award for Fiction (1986), a Major Artist Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council (1991-1992), a Governor’s Award for the Arts from the Ohio Arts Council (1993), and the Syndicated Fiction Award (1995).


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Abbott, Lee K. “An Interview with Lee K. Abbott.” Interview by George Myers. High Plains Literary Review 7 (Winter, 1992): 95-108. Abbott rejects being classified as a regional writer, a distinction he says was created for the convenience of reviewers; discusses how the story “How Love Is Lived in Paradise” came into being. Abbott says he is a realist of the “modernist stripe,” that character is the center of his fiction. Criticizes such popular writers as Danielle Steel and Sidney Sheldon for trivializing literature by putting formula before fact.

Abbott, Lee K. “A Short Note on Minimalism.” Mississippi Review, no. 40/41 (Winter, 1985): 23. In this special issue on minimalism, Abbott argues that minimalists are basically journalists. Claims he is a “sort of mossback prose-writer who prefers stories with all the parts hanging out and whirling.” Says he rides with “Wild Bunch” writers, which include John Updike, John Cheever, Peter Taylor, Walker Percy, and Eudora Welty.

Abbott, Lee K. “A Stubborn Sense of Place.” Harper’s 273 (August, 1986): 35-45. Abbott argues that a writer’s voice—which he says has to do with character, spirit, custom, practice, habit, and morality—is a function of place, because its authority comes from the crossroads at which the writer learned what he or she knows. Says that...

(The entire section is 417 words.)