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The Narrow Corner


W. Somerset Maugham was a British playwright, novelist and short story writer. A year after his first novel Liza of Lambeth was published Maugham began contributing to magazines and periodicals; initially, these were short stories, but he also wrote opinion pieces, non-fictional and autobiographical work, and letters. Much of his non-fictional writing was published in book form. The Narrow Corner was first published by William Heinemann in 1932. Dr Saunders is the short, ugly but immensely competent doctor based in Fu-Chou, China. He is persuaded by a well-known Chinese rogue and mastermind of all kinds of dubious businesses, Kim Ching, who lives on the distant island of Takana, to come and treat Kim’s cataracts. Waiting to return home to Fu-Chou in China after performing an eye operation on a local merchant Dr Saunders meets Captain Nichols, skipper of the lugger the Fenton, and Fred Blake, his only passenger. The relation between the cunning-looking Nichols, and the educated-looking, sullen young man Blake, intrigues Saunders; he arranges to have a passage on the Fenton where he can treat Nichols' chronic dyspepsia, and thereby begin his return home. This novel demonstrates Maugham at his best in conjuring up the steamy East through his prose and then mixing in a personal drama that could have been set anywhere. Listen online to free English audiobook "The Narrow Corner” on our website to experience one of the best William Somerset Maugham’s novels.

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