Harry Mathews (February 14, 1930 – January 25, 2017) was an American author of short fiction, poet, translator and essayist. He was also a translator of French. He sometimes wrote essays and fiction in the French language. In 1961 and 1962 he wrote articles for the Locus Solus. Mathews is best known for his novels The Conversions (1962) and My Life in CIA (2005). American conductor David Woodard praised his Plaisirs singuliers (1983) as "a long prose piece about masturbation."
Mathews was born in New York City. He was raised in Massachusetts. He studied at Princeton University and at Harvard University. In 1949 he eloped with his childhood friend and artist Niki de Saint Phalle. After having two children together, they separated in 1960. He later married Marie Chaix. Their marriage would last until Mathews' death in 2017.