One-Sentence Autobiography

Seven years ago, for a book of one-sentence autobiographies by Serbian writers, included, although I’m an American, because of my two books with Zarko Radakovic, I wrote:

After Ljubica Radaković fed me chicken soup and taught me to say Srbi su dobri ljudi, after our Belgrade publisher realized I was not a figment of Žarko’s fertile imagination, after translating Peter Handke’s Justice for Serbia, after traveling up the Drina River between the wars, after the man in Bajina Bašta said he had read our book and I said “so you’re the one,” after the cruise missile bought with my tax dollars shook the stove that cooked the chicken soup, after I left the homophobic Mormon Church that still inspired some of my best feelings and denounced the xenophobic country that I still love, after my hair turned silver and the divorce was final and my children grew up and Lyn taught me her vegetarian ways, after fifty-five years I still wanted, with an only partially embarrassing adolescent intensity, to be a writer.

About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at
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2 Responses to One-Sentence Autobiography

  1. wellinja says:

    Serbian or not, a fantastic sentence!


  2. Scott Abbott says:

    thanks jan. it was fun to write and rewrite.


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