Máté, Ferenc 1945-

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MÁtÉ, Ferenc 1945-

PERSONAL:

Born 1945, in Hungary; immigrated to Canada; married; wife's name Candace (a photographer and artist); children: Peter.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Tuscany, Italy.

CAREER:

Author. Has worked a variety of jobs, including boat builder, deckhand, railroad worker, photographer, and book editor.

WRITINGS:

From a Bare Hull: How to Build a Sailboat (self-published), illustrated by wife, Candace Máté, 1977, revised edition published as From a Bare Hull, Albatross Publishing House (London, England), 1983.

Waterhouses: The Romantic Alternative, Albatross Publishing House (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1977.

The Finely Fitted Yacht: The Boat Improvement Manual, two volumes, illustrated by Candace Máté, Albatross Publishing House (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1979.

Best Boats to Build or Buy, Albatross Publishing House (West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1982.

Shipshape: The Art of Sailboat Maintenance, illustrated by Candace Máté, Albatross Publishing House (New York, NY), 1985.

(And photographer, with Candace Máté) Autumn: A New England Journey, Albatross Publishing House (New York, NY), 1988.

A Reasonable Life: Toward a Simpler, Secure, More Humane Existence, Albatross Publishing House (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1993.

The Hills of Tuscany: A New Life in an Old Land (memoir), Albatross Publishing House (New York, NY), 1998.

The World's Best Sailboats: A Survey, Albatross Publishing House (New York, NY), Volume 1, 2001, Volume 2, 2003.

Ghost Sea (novel), Albatross Publishing House (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

As a child, Ferenc Máté fled his native Hungary with his mother for Canada when revolution struck his homeland. He grew up in Canada, and became enamored by the sailing life. Along with other jobs, he worked as a boat builder and deckhand, and in 1977 self-published From a Bare Hull: How to Build a Sailboat, which has since become a popular book on the subject. After he married his photographer/artist wife, the couple spent much of their lives living on boats, traveling the world, and writing about and taking pictures of their experiences. Reaching retirement age, Máté and his wife settled in Italy, and he wrote about this experience in his memoir, The Hills of Tuscany: A New Life in an Old Land. The "amusing account," as a Publishers Weekly critic described it, of how the Mátés fell in love with Tuscany, found a home, and acclimated to the people and customs, is filled with "evocative descriptions of the beautiful countryside."

Máté has also completed a novel, Ghost Sea. Critics of the book enjoyed the descriptions of sailing and the native Canadian Kwakiutl tribal culture, but found the plotting and characterizations of the story itself to suffer. A Kirkus Reviews contributor, for example, felt that the tale of a man who sets out to rescue his kidnapped—and married—love obsession using a ketch he has salvaged lacked "credibility." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly, however, felt that that Máté "excels at descriptions of boats and coastal geography."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Máté, Ferenc, The Hills of Tuscany: A New Life in an Old Land, Albatross Publishing House (New York, NY), 1998.

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2006, review of Ghost Sea, p. 317.

Library Journal, December, 1998, Nancy R. Ives, review of The Hills of Tuscany, p. 122.

Publishers Weekly, December 28, 1992, review of A Reasonable Life: Toward a Simpler, Secure, More Humane Existence, p. 54; October 5, 1998, review of The Hills of Tuscany, p. 67; March 20, 2006, review of Ghost Sea, p. 35.

Yachting, July, 1984, Chris Caswell, review of From a Bare Hull: How to Build a Sailboat, p. 25.*