Portrait of a Thief Portrait of a Thief
Portrait of a Thief Portrait of a Thief

Portrait of a Thief

By Grace D. Li


Publication Date: April 4, 2023

+ -
Add to cart
Availability: On our shelves now

Now in paperback and in the vein of Ocean’s Eleven meets The Farewell in Portrait of a Thief, a lush, lyrical heist novel inspired by the true story of Chinese art vanishing from Western museums; about diaspora, the colonization of art, and the complexity of the Chinese American identity.

History is told by the conquerors. Across the Western world, museums display the spoils of war, of conquest, of colonialism: priceless pieces of art looted from other countries, kept even now. 

Will Chen plans to steal them back.

A senior at Harvard and art history major, everything changes for Will when a mysterious Chinese benefactor reaches out with an impossible—and illegal—job offer: a heist to steal back five priceless Chinese sculptures, looted from Beijing centuries ago. 

Assembling a crew of fellow college students with each one playing their part as leader, conman, thief, getaway driver and hacker, each member of his crew has their own complicated relationship with China and the identity they’ve cultivated as Chinese Americans, but when Will asks, none of them can turn him down. 

Because if they succeed? They earn fifty million dollars—and a chance to make history. But if they fail, it will mean not just the loss of everything they’ve dreamed for themselves but yet another thwarted at­tempt to take back what colonialism has stolen.

Equal parts beautiful, thoughtful, and thrilling, Portrait of a Thief is a cultural heist and an examination of Chinese American identity, as well as a necessary cri­tique of the lingering effects of colonialism.


Story Locale:Southern California, China, New York, Norway

About the Author

Grace D. Li grew up in Pearland, Texas and is a graduate of Duke University, where she studied biology and creative writing. She lives in Northern California and attends medical school at Stanford University. Portrait of a Thief is her debut novel and is currently in development at Netflix, with Grace serving as an executive producer for the series.

Author Residence: Northern California

Author Hometown: Pearland, Texas

Format: Trade Paperback

Length: 416 pages

Publisher: Tiny Reparations Books

Publication Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 9780593186060

Add to wishlist / Add to compare

Linden Tree Books

Copyright 2024 Linden Tree Books