ROGER MAYBANK (1932- )
Writer (novels, plays)
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, December 8th, 1932, Maybank received his primary education in public school and his high school education .from Jesuit priests at St. Paul’s College in Winnipeg. He then enrolled in what was then United College (now the University of Winnipeg), affiliated to the University of Manitoba, from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts (having studied principally the Humanities) in 1953. From the autumn of that year he read English Language and Literature at Oxford University, from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1955. After some months spent in Paris, improving his French, he entered the Canadian Department of External Affairs as a junior officer; but he resigned from it four months later in order to pursue what became his life work: writing. This he was enabled to do by the generosity of his father, until his death in the mid-sixties, and then, for the rest of her long life, by his mother. The remittance they were able to send to Maybank every month of the many succeeding years was not large, but it enabled him to feed and shelter himself and do his work.
Returning to Europe, Maybank lived two or three years in Britain, before settling in Greece, on the island of Hydra, which became his home for the next thirty years, during which time he wrote the bulk of his seven novels. None of these, although he sent each of them to a variety of publishers in London and New York, was ever accepted for publication.
Towards the end of 1991, Maybank returned to Canada and made his home on the Pacific coast, where Elizabeth Gorrie, a friend of many years, commissioned him to write a play about the Brontes for her Kaleidoscope Theatre. This was staged and well-received, and Maybank thereafter devoted himself to writing for the theatre, completing some dozen plays over the two following decades.
As, like the novels, the plays found no access to the public, Maybank decided, in 2005, to self-publish them digitally, through Trafford Publishing, then situated in Victoria. The ten volumes brought out are (in the order of their original composition, with approximate dates of their completion):
THE WATER TOWER, a novel, 1963
THE WHITE RAVEN, a novel, 1969
THE ROAD OF SMOKE, a novel 1972
THE SUN BOAT, a novel 1978
MICHAEL LIGHTFOOT, a novel 1983
THE SWAN, a novel 1988
THE BACK OF THE WHALE, a novel 1994
THREE PLAYS: ‘Sarras’ (1995); ‘River Crossing’ (2001); ‘The Lion’s Mouth (2004).
THREE PLAYS: ‘Grasslands’ (1998); ‘Snakes and Ladders’ (1999); ‘Stonetag’ (2000).
TWO COMEDIES: ‘Sundial with Crows’ (1996); ‘Seeds and Shadows’ (2003)
In the years since the publication of these works he has written a further half-dozen plays.