“Noll is a hero of Brazilian literature who deserves to be widely known in the English-speaking world and this fascinating shape-shifting novel is a wonderful introduction to his work.” —Jenny Offill, author of Weather
Like an Edenic Adam birthed from the clay, our narrator rises to his feet from the muck—reborn, or something like that. Unbeknownst to him, he’s on a desperate search for Harmada, the capital city of an unnamed nation and the land of his former glory. Told using Noll’s characteristic fragmented logic and spirited prose, Harmada traces the life of this nameless man on a voyage that takes him from aimless outcast to revered director of avant-garde theater, from asylum patient to father to God, conjuring along the way essential questions about the power of art and storytelling, the vanity of glory, and the meaning of freedom.
A mythic tale of art and displacement nimbly translated from Portuguese by Edgar Garbelotto, Harmada serves as yet another reminder of João Gilberto Noll’s sublime literary power: generous in its mystery; earthbound in its essential urges; and entirely unpredictable.