A Theft

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Theft (disambiguation).
A Theft
First edition
Author Saul Bellow
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Penguin
Publication date
March 1989
Media type Print Paperback
Pages 128 pp
ISBN 0-14-011969-8
OCLC 18521152
813/.52 19
LC Class PS3503.E4488 T4 1989

A Theft is a 1989 novel by the American author Saul Bellow. Bellow originally wanted to publish the book as a story or serial in a magazine such as The New Yorker, but his agent had trouble selling it to any magazine. Bellow, instead, chose to publish it as a book, and it was his first book to be published in paperback form, which was something highly unusual for a book written by an erudite and respected author. Bellow himself said on the television show Good Morning America that the book had the quality of a hardcover book, but lacked the requisite number of pages and, hence, was published as a trade paperback.


Clara Velde is a successful fashion writer in New York City and the star of the story. The book's title refers to the disappearance of Clara's prized emerald ring. Clara associates the ring with her love for the Washington, D.C. politico Ithiel and with her own professional and personal power. The ring's apparent theft leads Clara into a series of psychological crises and forces her to confront a long-buried complex of interpersonal issues.