A novel of love and betrayal set during a cholera epidemic from the acclaimed British author of Of Human Bondage, “a great artist, a genius” (Theodore Dreiser).
“[Theodore Dreiser] is the modern writer who has influenced me the most.” —George Orwell
Arriving in Hong Kong in the 1920s, newlywed Kitty Fane soon learns that being the wife of a British government bacteriologist gives her no particular social status. It only adds to her dissatisfaction with her life and her husband, Walter. Her marriage has been nothing but a mistake. But she soon embarks on an affair that transforms her very being. There is passion. There is hope. There is a future full of possibility.
When Walter must go deep into mainland China to help treat the victims of a cholera epidemic, Kitty refuses to accompany him. To force her hand, Walter threatens to expose her affair. But Kitty, sure in her lover’s whispered promises, pushes for a divorce. Her impulsive decision will throw a stark light on the truth and her own desperate illusions, thrusting Kitty into unfamiliar territory—both in the world around her and the soul within . . .
The inspiration for the film starring Naomi Watts and Edward Norton, “The Painted Veil with its sadness, its moral tension, its irony and compassion, its building evocations of lust and terror and remorse is a work of art” (The Spectator).
“Reveals many of Maugham’s strengths: an understanding of women, meticulous craftsmanship and raw emotion.” —Daily Mail
“This short masterpiece tells of love, treachery, and a search for real substance in life.” —DigBooks