The Moon and Sixpence
By W. Somerset Maugham
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375724565, 288pp.)
Publication Date: May 9, 2000
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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 leaves the lives of those closest to him in tatters. Through Maugham's sympathetic eye Stricland's tortured and cruel soul becomes a symbol of the blessing and the curse of transcendent artistic genius, and the cost in humans lives it sometimes demands.
W. Somerset Maugham lived in France and England. He died in 1965.
"[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