By W. Somerset Maugham
A child named Philip—with a clubfoot, no money, no social graces—is orphaned at the age of 9. This character has absolutely no advantages. But Philip wants to be an artist, and despite a lack of funds, he does the unthinkable—moves to Paris to pursue his art. My mother told me about this book when I was trying to become an artist myself. I went to New York with no money, didn't know anybody, but the idea that you could pursue something, even after repeated failures, was what I got from this book.