What Is "Theft" by Katherine Anne Porter?

"Theft" is a short story written by Katherine Anne Porter, published in a 1952 collection, "50 Short Stories." The themes of the story are emptiness, money (and the lack thereof), love and rejection.

Set in a bohemian New York neighborhood during the 1920s, "Theft" follows the protagonist, an unnamed woman, as she recalls her travels from the previous night in hopes of discovering who has stolen her beautiful purse. She relives interaction with several men after leaving a cocktail party. The first is a friend who reminds her of a previous lover, the second talks with her about reuniting with his estranged wife, and the third is a playwright who tells of his own love rejection.

She recovers her purse in the end, but the reunion, much like her interactions, reflects loneliness and emptiness.