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Thief’s Journal

Jean Genet

A beautiful new edition of Jean Genet’s classic work — part of a revitalising repackage of all of Genet’s novels for 2019. Featuring a new introduction by author Ahdaf Soueif.

18 in stock

Date Published
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Jean Genet, French playwright, novelist and poet, turned the experiences in his life amongst pimps, whores, thugs and other fellow social outcasts into a poetic literature, with an honesty and explicitness unprecedented at the time. Widely considered an outstanding and unique figure in French literature, Genet wrote five novels between 1942 and 1947, now being republished by Faber & Faber in beautiful new paperback editions.

The Thief’s Journal
is perhaps Jean Genet’s most authentically autobiographical novel; an account of his impoverished travels across 1930s Europe. The narrator is guilty of vagrancy, petty theft and prostitution, but his writing transforms such degradations into an inverted moral code, where criminality and delinquency become heroic. With a holy trinity of his own making – homosexuality, theft and betrayal – in The Thief’s Journal Genet produced a startlingly powerful novel without precedent.

Includes a new introduction by Ahdaf Soueif.

Critic Reviews

Genet has dramatized the story of his own life with a power and vision which take the breath away . . . One of the strongest and most vital accounts of a life ever set down on paper . . . The Thief’s Journal will undoubtedly establish Genet as one of the most daring literary figures of all time.

New York Post
Critic Reviews

A literary creation of great importance and midnight beauty.

Library Journal
Critic Reviews

Only a handful of twentieth-century writers, such as Kafka and Proust, have as important, as authoritative, as irrevocable a voice and style.

Susan Sontag

Jean Genet was born in Paris in 1910. An illegitimate child who never knew his parents, he was abandoned to the Public Assistance Authorities. He was ten when he was sent to a reformatory for stealing; thereafter he spent time in the prisons of nearly every country he visited in thirty years of prowling through the European underworld. With ten…

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