Based on the life of Paul Gauguin, "The Moon and Sixpence" is W. Somerset Maugham's ode to the powerful forces behind creative genius.
Charles Strickland is a staid banker, a man of wealth and privilege. He is also a man possessed of an unquenchable desire to create art. As Strickland pursues his artistic vision, he leaves London for Paris and Tahiti, and in his quest makes sacrifices that leave the lives of those closest to him in tatters. Through Maugham's sympathetic eye Strickland's tortured and cruel soul becomes a symbol of the blessing and the curse of transcendent artistic genius, and the cost in human lives it sometimes demands.
About the Author
William Somerset Maugham was an English author, playwright, and doctor best known for the semi-autobiographical novel Of Human Bondage. Orphaned at a young age, Maugham was raised, unhappily, by his uncle, who urged him into a medical career despite his talent and interest in writing. Maugham gave up his career in medicine after his first novel, Liza of Lambeth, sold out its initial printing in several weeks, and next ventured into playwriting with Lady Frederick, which was such a success that by the following year Maugham had four plays running simultaneously. Maugham worked for the British Secret Service during the First World War, travelling all over the world before making his home in the south of France after Second World War and using his experiences as inspiration for new stories. Before his death in 1965, Maugham published many more successful novels including The Letter and The Razor's Edge, both of which were adapted into feature films. Maugham has been remembered as one of the most influential and successful writers of his era, and is believed to have been the highest paid author of the 1930s.
"[A] witty, compelling roman à clef...that mock[s] the way the world makes saints of the sinners who are often its best artists." -The Boston Globe
"It is very difficult for a writer of my generation, if he is honest, to pretend indifference to the work of Somerset Maugham.... He was always so entirely there." -Gore Vidal