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The Swift Dark Tide - Katia Ariel
Stella Prize Shortlist 2024

The Swift Dark Tide

By: Katia Ariel

Paperback | 1 May 2023

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What happens when, in the middle of a happy heterosexual marriage, a woman falls in love with another woman?

The Swift Dark Tide is a story of selfhood and desire, of careful listening to an ungovernable heart.

Part memoir, part love letter, The Swift Dark Tide is also a chronicle of life by the sea, journeying between Melbourne’s St Kilda and the Black Sea town of Odessa. Katia Ariel introduces us to a lineage of soulful, strident women and beautifully nuanced men. She invites us into home and heart to witness love, loss and joy, motherhood, daughterhood and the urgent wildness of the body.
Industry Reviews
‘A lyrical memoir of family, inheritance and queer becoming. Ariel writes with the eyes of a poet and the heart of a true romantic. Her sentences are crystalline marvels, gifts to be savoured and held up to the light.’ - Yves Rees, author of All About Yves

‘Alive with passion and pain, exquisitely metaphorical, Ariel’s memoir is a stunning feat of honesty. Not only a captivating story of one relationship and its breathtaking beginnings, it is also a journey of family, migration, motherhood, and entrusting ourselves to our hearts and bodies. The writing pulses with love, drawing meticulous connections between place, family and desire spanning continents, bodies and generations. Immerse yourself in Ariel’s richly poetic world and savour its visceral impact.’ - Katherine Brabon, author of The Shut Ins and The Memory Artist

‘Rich and raw, lyrical, philosophical but also deeply moving, The Swift Dark Tide is that rare thing: an unforgettable memoir.’ - Nigel Featherstone, author of My Heart is a Little Wild Thing and Bodies of Men

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