Thieves I’ve Known

Stories by Tom Kealey

Stories that explore and celebrate the lives of America's invisible youth


“Tom Kealey might be my favorite short story writer and this astonishing collection is long overdue.”
—Stephen Elliott, author of The Adderall Diaries 

"Tom Kealey honors these marginal and troubled young Americans with fierce honesty."
—Jane Ciabattari, NPR

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In these wondrously strange and revealing stories, Tom Kealey chronicles the struggles and triumphs of the young and marginalized as they discover many ways of growing up.

Their names are Merrill, Omar, Shelby, Laika, Winston, and Toomey, but most people don’t see them. They are boxers in training and the children of fishermen. They are altar boys in a poverty-stricken parish. They are assistant groundskeepers and assistant camel-keepers. They travel with the circus, care for disabled siblings, steal police cars, and retrieve the stolen boots of a priest. Ranging in abode from Puget Sound, Washington, to Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, they are abandoned yet courageous and plucky children and teenagers living on the edges of society.

Thieves I’ve Known is a collection of powerful, moving stories about the lives of a redemptive and peculiar cast of young characters who become easy to know and difficult to forget.

Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction

Page count: 208 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 X 8.5


List price: $24.95

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List price: $19.95

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List price: $24.95
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Tom Kealey is the author of The Creative Writing MFA Handbook. He has taught creative writing at Stanford University since 2003.