Dear Thief

In the middle of a winter’s night, a woman wraps herself in a blanket, picks up a pen and starts writing to an estranged friend.


Without knowing if her friend, Butterfly, is alive or dead, she writes night after night – a letter of friendship that turns into something more revealing and recriminating. By turns a belated outlet for rage, an act of self-defence, and an offering of forgiveness, the letter revisits a betrayal that happened a decade and a half before, and dissects what is left of a friendship caught between the forces of hatred and love.


Dear Thief was longlisted for the Bailey’s Prize and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. It was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.


‘Beautiful . . . Exhilarating . . . Remarkable’ JAMES WOOD, THE NEW YORKER

‘Harvey has struck gold . . . So intimate, so honest, so raw.’ THE GUARDIAN

‘Ravishing . . . Harvey offers an incandescent vision of hope and acceptance.’ SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

‘Dear Thief is a hypnotic, beautiful and sometimes dark incantation – a letter to an old friend that lures the reader in and doesn’t let go. Samantha Harvey’s novel is a deftly drawn reminder of our deeply held human desire for connection and the risk involved in the revelation of that desire.’ A.M. HOMES

‘Samantha Harvey’s Dear Thief is a novel of profound beauty.’ MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM

‘One of the most beguiling novels of the year . . . [Harvey] is this generation’s Virginia Woolf.’ DAILY TELEGRAPH

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