High as the Waters Rise - A Novel
High as the Waters Rise is an intimate, electrifying novel of the lonely journey an oil rig worker embarks upon after losing his close friend, Mátyás, to the sea.
This is German poet Anja Kampmann’s debut novel, and was very well-received in Germany, where it was awarded the Lessing Prize, the Bergen-Enkheim Literary Prize, the Mara-Cassens Prize, and the Prize for Literature of the City of Lüneburg, and shortlisted for the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair. It was pre-empted in France by Gallimard.
The novel is a unique and surprising exploration of male intimacy and grief, of laborers and working conditions, of loneliness and loss, of freedom and what it costs to attain it; it’s also a fascinating view into the lives of oil rig workers and the realities of that industry
Perfect for fans of Ocean Vuong, Cormac McCarthy, and Kazuo Ishiguro
High as the Waters Rise was Associate Editor Kendall Storey’s first acquisition for Catapult; we will publish Magnetized, another of her acquisitions, in June 2020
Anja Kampmann lives in Leipzig, Germany, and spent three months at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa (Iowa City). Anne Posten is based in New York City and Berlin, and considers Annapolis, MD her hometown.
Bookseller Praise for High as the Waters Rise
"Like an odyssey of our time, one that takes the protagonist of this lushly limned book by German poet Anja Kampmann from one point to another and back, his directionlessness akin to much of what Homer portrayed. He travels the shoals of a Europe that feels exhausted and depleted, where generations of extractive work (coal mining, oil drilling) have left a trail of desertion, death, and loss . . . Kudos to translator Anne Posten, as well as the author herself. They've given readers a rich, vivid book, one to be immersed in . . . A novel deep and strong as the rising waters.” —Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company (Seattle, WA)
"Anja Kampmann's High as the Waters Rise is a poet's novel, attentive to the ebb and flow of modern life, landscape, and mourning. This richly textured translation helps answer a vital question of our era: how do we carry on in the face of loss?" —Stephen Sparks, Point Reyes Books (Point Reyes Station, CA)