William Somerset Maugham's remarkable first novel was such an instant success that the 23-year-old medical student left school to become a full-time author. Liza, a vibrant but poverty-stricken London girl, is the most graceful and daring dancer that anyone has ever seen, wildly moving to the music of the Italian organ player on Old Kent Road. But her bright light begins to dim as the tragic effects of illness and poverty overtake her body, if not her spirit. Maugham's expert storytelling, economy of expression, and effective use of irony helped him create one of literature's most memorable heroines. (Microsoft Bookshelf '95)
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