The Moon and Sixpence

The Moon and Sixpence

W. Somerset Maugham


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A middle-aged stockbroker leaves his family to become an artist in this novel inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin from “a notable and original writer” (The New York Times).
From the author of The Razor’s Edge and Of Human Bondage, The Moon and Sixpence tells the story of Charles Strickland, who suddenly deserts his wife and children in order to devote his life to painting. Unpleasant in manner yet strangely charismatic, he makes his way to Paris, Marseilles, and finally Tahiti, producing works of genius that few in his lifetime appreciate—while those he left behind speculate about what drove him to abandon them so abruptly.
“A notable and original writer . . . Mr. Maugham digresses whenever he happens to feel like it, and his digressions never cause him to lose the reader’s attention, but instead rather strengthen his hold on it. His comments are sometimes brilliant, always shrewd—often disconcertingly so. He has a way of getting beneath the surface.” —The New York Times


W. Somerset Maugham:
W. Somerset Maugham (1874–1964) was a British novelist, playwright, and short story writer. Maugham studied medicine, later becoming a surgeon. In 1897, he published his first novel, Liza of Lambeth, which became so popular he took up writing full-time. By 1914, Maugham was famous, having published ten novels and produced ten plays. During World War I, he served as an ambulance driver—and occasional spy—and continued to write, publishing the controversial autobiographical novel Of Human Bondage (1915), one of his best-known works.