High Tide


by Inga Ābele

September 28, 2013
novel | pb | 334 pgs
5.5" x 8.5"


Winner of the 2015 AATSEEL Book Award for Best Translation into English

“A sharp realist.”
—Aleksandar Hemon

Told more or less in reverse chronological order, High Tideis the story of Ieva, her dead lover, her imprisoned husband, and the way their youthful decisions dramatically impacted the rest of their lives. Taking place over three decades, High Tide functions as a sort of psychological mystery, with the full scope of Ieva’s personal situation—and the relationship between the three main characters—only becoming clear at the end of the novel. 

One of Latvia’s most notable young writers, Ābele is a fresh voice in European fiction—her prose is direct, evocative, and exceptionally beautiful. The combination of strikingly lush descriptive writing with the precision with which she depicts the minds of her characters elevates this novel from a simple story of a love triangle into a fascinating, philosophical, haunting book. (Read an Excerpt)

Translated from the Latvian by Kaija Straumanis


About the Author: Inga Ābele (born 1972) is a Latvian novelist, poet, and playwright. Her novel High Tide received the 2008 Latvian Literature Award, and the 2009 Baltic Assembly Award in Literature. Her works have been translated into Swedish, English, French, and Russian, among others, and have appeared in such anthologies as New European PoetsBest European Fiction 2010, and Short Stories without Borders: Young Writers for a New Europe. Her most recent book, Ants and Bumblebees, is a collection of short stories.

About the Translator: Kaija Straumanis is a graduate of the MA program in Literary Translation Studies at the University of Rochester, and is the editorial director of Open Letter Books. She has translated works by Inga Ābele, Inga Žolude, Jānis Joņevs, and Zigmunds Skujiņš, among others. She received the 2015 AATSEEL Book Award for Best Translation into English (Creative Literature) for her work on High Tide.


“Ābele has the rare ability to find that existential abyss that lies beneath the superficial surface of daily existence.”
Guntis Berelis