William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) was an interesting man and a prolific writer. He was born in Paris to British diplomatic parents, both of whom died before he was 10 years old. He attended King’s School in Canterbury and Heidelberg University. He earned a medical degree at St. Thomas, London. He was a British Secret Service agent in WWI and traveled around the world twice in search of experiences to stimulate his writing. He left England, where being gay was a crime, and moved to a mansion on the French Riviera. He wrote plays, short stories, novels, travel guides, and essays on his way to becoming the richest author of his generation. We will read from his collections of plays and short stories, using two books as our texts: Collected Short Stories, Volume One (Penguin Books, 1992) by W. Somerset Maugham and Plays: Volume One (Vintage International Edition, 2017) by W. Somerset Maugham. Study group members will lead discussions of stories or plays they select from the texts.