"Are all archaeologists arrogant Aristotelians, asks author, as Angolans abduct Alva. Adieu Alva. Arrivederci?" begins Alphabetical Africa, a high-comedy experimental novel set in an imaginary Africa, which expands and contracts with ineluctable precision as Abish 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 made into a hunting ground for a pair of murderous jewel thieves tracking down their nymphomaniac moll.