Shortlisted for the 2024 Stella Prize

Katia Ariel – The Swift Dark Tide

Nonfiction · Gazebo Books

the swift dark tide

About the Book



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.

Your Image

Katia Ariel’s memoir is an open love letter to her own courage and desire.”

– 2024 Stella Prize Judges

About the author


Katia Ariel

Katia Ariel is an author, book editor and educator from Melbourne/Naarm. She was born in Odesa, Ukraine. Katia has been published in a variety of literary journals, including Womankind, Archer and Antithesis. Her memoir, The Swift Dark Tide, was published by Gazebo Books in 2023. Her second book, Ferryman: The Life and Deathwork of Ephraim Finch, is forthcoming with Wild Dingo Press in 2024.

Further Reading


Judges’ Report


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