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"Exquisitely stitched narratives, and [a] sense of wonderverging on aweat the world's regal strangeness... inspires [Mathews's] novels.... Extraordinary imagination.... Told with the strictest economy, without extraneous justification or explanation." -- Times Literary Supplement
"The tragi-comedy of human ingenuity, which insists upon interpreting the facts of experience even when they are senseless, baffling, or banal.... a remarkable extension and exploration of the odd fictional devices invented by Raymond Roussel." -- Edmund White, New York Times
Harry Mathews (born February 14, 1930) is an American author of various novels, volumes of poetry and short fiction, and essays.
Harry Mathews was the first American chosen for membership in the French literary society known as the Oulipo, which is dedicated to exploring new possibilities in literature, in particular through the use of various constraints and algorithms. The late French writer Georges Perec, likewise a member, was a good friend, and the two translated some of each other's writings. Mathews considers many of his works to be Oulipian in nature, but even before he encountered the society he was working in a parallel direction.
Mathews is currently married to the writer Marie Chaix and divides his time between Paris, Key West, and New York.