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Additional Information
ISBN: 978-1-931883-60-3
Pages: 152
Size: 4 1/2 x 7
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Distributed By: Publishers Group West

Atlantic Hotel

by João Gilberto Noll
Translated from Portuguese by
Adam Morris

Two Lines Press’s second novel from the Brazilian phenomenon

Compared by critics to filmmaker David Lynch—and deeply influenced by Clarice Lispector—João Gilberto Noll is esteemed as one of Brazil’s living legends. Following the breakthrough success of last year’s Quiet Creature on the Corner, Two Lines Press now presents Noll’s career-defining work, Atlantic Hotel.

Just who narrates the dark and mysterious Atlantic Hotel? First he books a room where a murder has occurred, claiming he’s just arrived from the airport. But then he suddenly leaves, telling a cabbie he’s an alcoholic headed for detox. After that he hops on an all-night bus across Brazil, where he begins to seduce a beautiful American woman. Next he’s recognized as a soap opera actor. Then he impersonates a priest.

At length he knocks on a very wrong door in a small town: when it opens he’s looking down the barrel of a gun. He falls down unconscious, and when he awakes something terrible is happening to him…


“Noll is a master of prose, one of Brazil’s true literary icons.” — Literary Hub

“A surreal journey.… The pages fly past in this short novel.” — Los Angeles Review of Books

“Touches of Don Quixote and Odysseus, hints of The Stranger and a taste of the pantomime and absurdity of Fellini’s early 1960s films.” — Cleaver Magazine

“Noll and his translator Morris’ prose frequently has a seductive, noirish quality.” — Kirkus

“[E]ngagingly nightmarish.… Noll’s novel is ultimately the story of a man learning to die.” — Publishers Weekly

“The haunting sensibilities of João Gilberto Noll’s fiction point to why it’s continuing to find readers now, and why it continues to be all too relevant. This is unsettling fiction in the best way.” — The Culture Trip

“João Gilberto Noll could make any life into a compelling novel.… The payoff for reading [his] novels is a greater sense of what it is to be a human.” — Music & Literature

“There’s something forbidden and alluring in [Noll’s] viewpoint.” — Electric Literature

“One of the most celebrated writers in contemporary Brazilian literature.” — Guernica Magazine 

“Noll uses brevity to boldly evoke chaos and unrest.… He taps into haunting anxieties and unsettling imagery.” — Tobias Carroll, Vol. 1 Brooklyn

“Noll’s literature doesn’t seek to impart a lesson or demonstrate anything. Above all, it shows the poetry in the fact that no one individual is a permanence but rather many simultaneous things.” — Sergio Chejfec, author of My Two Worlds

More Praise for João Gilberto Noll

“Noll’s is a captivating voice.” — Matt Bell, author of Scrapper

“[A] nightmarish, abject, kinetic, surreal, picaresque read.… I read it and then I read it again. It’s a puzzle. I enjoyed it tremendously.” — Biblioklept

“It’s like what might have happened if Werner Herzog had written a hypnotized sequel to Peter Handke’s The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick.” — Brian Evenson, author of Fugue State

“Vigor, pace, immediacy…a masterwork of compression whose lid we open at our peril.” — Dustin Illingworth, 3:AM Magazine

“Much as the novel deserves its comparisons with…modernist giants, Quiet Creature on the Corner…shows Noll blazing past them into his own territory with a story for a different age.” — Cultured Vultures

“Spare and…surreal.” — Numéro Cinq

João Gilberto Noll (1946–2017) is the author of nearly twenty books. His work appeared in Brazil’s leading periodicals, and he was a guest of the Rockefeller Foundation, King’s College London, and the University of California at Berkeley, as well as a Guggenheim Fellow. A five-time recipient of the Prêmio Jabuti, and the recipient of more than ten awards in all, he died in Porto Alegre, Brazil, at the age of seventy.   
Adam Morris has a PhD in Latin American Literature from Stanford University and is the recipient of the 2012 Susan Sontag Foundation Prize in literary translation. He is the translator of João Gilberto Noll’s Atlantic Hotel (Two Lines Press, 2017) and Quiet Creature on the Corner (Two Lines Press, 2016), and Hilda Hilst’s With My Dog-Eyes (Melville House Books, 2014). His writing and translations have been published widely, including in BOMB magazine, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and many others. He lives in San Francisco.

Download Atlantic Hotel Excerpt

Excerpt from Atlantic Hotel

By João Gilberto Noll

Translated by Adam Morris

Available from Two Lines Press


I ate lunch in a restaurant located on a wide beach. I heard the waiter massacring English as he tried to talk to a pair of German tourists. He was telling them that the church on the edge of the plaza was the city cathedral.

I ate fish and drank white wine. Between bites, I admired the German couple or confirmed once again that the cathedral indeed had an immense staircase. When I turned back to my plate and my chalice of wine, I felt I was experiencing the rudimentary parts of a delusion.

In the afternoon I meandered around downtown. I bought a postcard of the Florianópolis bridge. I had a habit of collecting postcards as souvenirs. At the time I already had a couple in the back pocket of my pants, all crumpled up. One of them showed Copacabana beach at night. On the other was the ferry to Niterói. Now the postcard of the Florianópolis bridge, spanning a scandalously artificial blue sea, would keep the others company.


Toward late afternoon, I thought I’d better find a hotel. I went two blocks down toward the sea, and on a corner I found a hotel in an old but ­well-preserved house, painted dark green.

I asked for a room with air conditioning. I closed the door to the room, but then remembered I’d never operated an air conditioner before. I pulled a chair in front of the unit. I started to fuss with the buttons, to see if I could overcome my chronic ineptness with machines. I had to mess with it for more than five minutes, but I was successful.

Then I lay down on the bed, just enjoying the temperature. I switched on the radio, and was surprised to hear Francisco Alves singing. Then the announcer came on, saying it was a whole show dedicated to Francisco Alves.

I took off my clothes while still lying down, thinking about taking a bath. Even naked I wasn’t cold.

I sat up on the bed and faced my white body in the mirror. I stood up, went into the bathroom, and turned on the shower. I began lathering up, thinking I’d go to the movies that evening.

Wrapped in a towel, I opened the minibar and took out a can of beer. I remembered my dream on the bus, in which I was the woman observing a man who had just appeared on the horizon. I let out a small burp, and a little bit of sour beer came back up into my throat. I took another slug of beer. I realized that this had not been the first and would not be the last dream in which I was a woman.

Francisco Alves was singing a sad waltz. The lyrics were a lament that his beloved was in love with another.

I lay down again. I recalled the flapper from the hotel in Copacabana. Unwrapping myself from the towel, I closed my eyes and opened my arms as if to make of myself an offering.

I stayed like that for a few minutes.

But a sudden rebellion came over me. I bit my hand, my arm, and started to moan and roll across the bed until I landed on the shaggy carpet.

“I’m dead, bury me!” I exclaimed.