Mehrdad Nabili has translated the book released by the Elmi Farhangi Publishing Company.
The book first published in 1944 is about Larry Darrell, a young American pilot who is traumatized by his experiences in World War I and is in search of the absolute.
The progress of this spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham’s most brilliant characters - his fiancée Isabel, whose choice between love and wealth have lifelong repercussions, and Elliot Templeton, her uncle, a classic expatriate American snob.
The most ambitious of Maugham’s novels, this is also one in which Maugham himself plays a considerable part as he wanders in and out of the story, to observe his characters struggling with their fates.
The novel’s title comes from a translation of a verse in the Katha Upanishad, paraphrased in the book’s epigraph as: “The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard.”
The book has twice been adapted into a film; first in 1946 starring Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney, with Herbert Marshall as Maugham and Anne Baxter as Sophie, and then a 1984 adaptation starring Bill Murray.
During World War I, Maugham worked for the British Secret Service. He traveled all over the world, and made many visits to America. After World War II, Maugham made his home in the south of France and continued to move between England and Nice till his death in 1965.