The Thief's Journal

The Thief's Journal

By Jean Genet; Bernard Frechtman (Translator); Jean-Paul Sartre (Foreword by)

Grove Press, Paperback, 9780802130143, 272pp.

Publication Date: February 1994


The Thief's Journal is perhaps Jean Genet's most authentically autobiographical novel, personifying his quest for spiritual glory through the pursuit of evil. Writing in the intensely lyrical prose style that is his trademark, the man Jean Cocteau dubbed France's "Black Prince of Letters" here reconstructs his early adult years -- time he spent as a petty criminal and vagabond, traveling through Spain and Antwerp, occasionally border hopping across the rest of Europe, always one step ahead of the authorities. "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; "One of the strongest and most vital accounts of a life ever set down on paper. . . . Genet has dramatized the story of his own life with a power and vision which take the breath away. The Thief's Journal will undoubtedly establish Genet as one of the most daring literary figures of all time." -- The New York Post

About the Author
Jean Genet (1910-1986) was a prominent and controversial French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing. His major works include the novels Querelle of Brest, The Thief's Journal, and Our Lady of the Flowers, and the plays The Balcony, The Blacks, The Maids, and The Screens.

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 1980) was a significant voice in the creation of existential thought. His explorations of the ways human existence is unique among all life-forms in its capacity to choose continue to influence fields such as Marxist philosophy, sociology, and literary studies. He was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature, but refused the honor.