Willie: The Life of W. Somerset Maugham

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9780312039547: Willie: The Life of W. Somerset Maugham

Williie: The Life Of W. Somerset Maugham, by Calder, Robert

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From Publishers Weekly:

Differing from Ted Morgan's antipathetic Maugham (1980), this thorough, scholarly biography--written, unlike earlier books, with the cooperation of Maugham's secretary Alan Searle--sympathetically explores Maugham's homosexuality and its effect on his writing. Emphasizing the prolific writer's "sensitivity, wit, loyalty and numerous kindnesses," Calder, a professor of English at the University of Saskatchewan, explores Maugham's relationships with his wife Syrie and male companions. The biographer skillfully relates the life of "a man without roots," who was "fundamentally itinerant and detached," to his work as novelist, playwright and short story writer. The later chapters, in which the "grand old man" was burdened by his memories, lack the interest of the earlier ones. Photos.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Best remembered for Cakes and Ale, The Razor's Edge, and Of Human Bondage , Maugham inhabits a small but important niche in British literary history. His life, which he chronicled in fiction and drama, spanned 91 years (1874-1965). His oeuvre is impressive and might have been central had some of his contemporaries not shone so brightly. Calder's full-scale scholarly biography, the first to have the cooperation of Maugham's secretary and companion, Alan Searle, is an affectionate look at Maugham's family, homosexuality, and career. Calder's scholarship seems sound, and though no Leon Edel, he offers a rendering of "Willie's" life that is quite readable and informative.
-Vincent D. Balitas, Allentown Coll., Center Valley, Pa.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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