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Ray Mathew Ray Mathew i(A16713 works by) (birth name: Raymond Frank Mathew) (a.k.a. R. Mathew)
Born: Established: 14 Apr 1929 Leichhardt, Glebe - Leichhardt - Balmain area, Sydney Inner West, Sydney, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 27 May 2002 New York (City), New York (State),
c
United States of America (USA),
c
Americas,

Gender: Male
Departed from Australia: 1960
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BiographyHistory

Ray Mathew was born in Sydney, the son of Frank Leslie James, a labourer, and Lily Mathew (nee Latta). They lived first in Leichhardt and then Bondi. Mathew was educated at Sydney Boys High School and Sydney Teachers College. From 1949 to 1951 he taught in New South Wales country schools where he was often the only teacher. During the 1950s he also worked in shops, moved furniture, gave school broadcasts and adult education lectures, wrote literary reviews for the Sydney Morning Herald as a freelance journalist, worked for the CSIRO as an accounts officer 1952-1954 and was a tutor and lecturer at the University of Sydney 1955-1960.

In 1961 Mathew moved abroad, living in Italy and then London where he won the British Arts Council bursary for drama, the first Commonwealth writer to receive the award. For the next few years he engaged in editorial work, typed plays for the BBC and even worked as a barman while seeking the sustained literary success that eluded him. In 1968 he travelled to New York with hopes of a publishing project. Paul and Eva Kollsman became his patrons and friends. Mathew eventually became a permanent resident, pursuing a career as a freelance writer and art critic.

Best-known in Australia as a playwright, Mathew wrote many plays in the 1950s that attempted to achieve a new type of realism with experimental verbal techniques and unorthodox plots. Mathew drew on his experience as a teacher in rural New South Wales for many of his better-known plays, but produced a diverse range of drama that included a comical musical satire on the Ned Kelly myth and a sophisticated comedy set in Sydney's Kings Cross. Mathew also published three volumes of verse.

Mathew was a prolific writer of prose, publishing many reviews, articles and short stories. In addition, he published studies of Miles Franklin (1955)and Charles Blackman (1965), and the semi-autobiographical novel The Joys of Possession (1967).

(Source; Valerie Helson, 'Ray Mathew An Australian For Life', NLA News XIV.7 (2004): 3-6; 'Raymond (Frank) Mathew', Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2002.)

Most Referenced Works

Last amended 14 Apr 2011 16:43:41
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