William Abrahams, 79, editor of about 350 books, including those of such authors as Lillian Hellman and William Inge. Abrahams also presided over the annual O. Henry short story awards for more than three decades, editing annual anthologies of short stories he thought were the year's best. Abrahams wrote four successful novels and published several poems before becoming an editor with the Atlantic Monthly Press in 1963. He also edited books for Holt, Reinhart & Winston and Dutton. His stable of loyal authors included Pauline Kael, Thomas Flanagan, John Fowles, Evan Connell and Joyce Carol Oates. With his partner, historian Peter Stansky, Abrahams late in life wrote four nonfiction books, including "London's Burning: Life, Death and Art in the Second World War," published in 1994. Saying he could work anywhere he had a telephone, Abrahams moved easily from the book publishing center of New York to Northern California when Stansky won a Stanford teaching post. Abrahams continued working with authors until his death. On Tuesday in Hillsborough, Calif., of congestive heart failure.