Two Lines Press

Nonfiction Without Borders

These three books derive creativity from the limits of categorization. Each work, in its own distinct way, boldly crosses borders—whether of memoir, history, or criticism—to create a literature that dramatically (and joyfully) thwarts preconceptions and expands possibilities.


$37 $46.85
  • On Lighthouses

    By Jazmina Barrera
    Translated from Spanish by Christina MacSweeney

    Far from home, in the confines of a dim New York apartment where the oppressive skyscrapers further isolate her, Jazmina Barrera offers a tour of her lighthouses—those structures whose message is “first and foremost, that human beings are here.”

    “The attentive lyricism of [Barrera’s] self-exploration pulls the reader steadily along the craggy coastlines of the world. Her language, reflected in MacSweeney’s crystal clear translation, is grounded and tranquil, at times contrasting with the turmoil of grief and isolation that Barrera feels throughout her travels.… [On Lighthouses] is a multifaceted collection, vibrant in its constant search for more iterative complexity, meant to be read slowly and considerately.” —Entropy

  • This Tilting World

    By Colette Fellous
    Translated from French by Sophie Lewis

    On the night following the terrorist attack that killed thirty-eight tourists on the beach at Sousse, a woman sits facing the sea and writes a love letter to her homeland, Tunisia, which she feels she must now leave forever. Personal tragedies soon resurface—the deaths of her father, a quiet man who had left all he held dear in Tunisia to emigrate to France, and of another lifelong friend, a writer who just weeks ago died at sea, having forsaken the writing that had given his life meaning.

    From Tunisia to Paris to a Flaubertian village in Normandy, and with nods to Proust and Barthes, Fellous’s complex and loving story offers a multitude of colorful portraits, and sweeps readers onto a lyrical journey, giving a voice to those one rarely gets to hear, and to loved ones now silent.

  • Self-Portrait in Green

    By Marie NDiaye
    Translated from French by Jordan Stump

    Who are the green women? They are powerful (one is a disciplinarian teacher). They are mysterious (one haunts a house like a ghost). They are seductive (one marries her best friend’s father). And they are unbearably personal (one is the author’s own mother). They are all aspects of their creator: Marie NDiaye, an author celebrated worldwide as one of France’s leading writers.


Praise for On Lighthouses

This book is a light at the end of the tunnel, showing us places we’ll see and things we’ll do when we can go out again.”—The Paris Review

On Lighthouses hypnotizes in all the ways a book ought to, calling to mind the very nature of books. Meek and pale, washed ashore of life’s rapid tides, the reader and her book are already strange figures in our world, lonely spirts drifting for hours alone, outside of time and place. In this sense—in Barrera’s sense—a book is a lighthouse and its reader the sunken-eyed keeper haunting its hollow passages, lighting its searchlight night after night. And we’ve only just stuck our toe in.” —AirMail Weekly

Praise for This Tilting World

“[Fellous] observes the rituals and language that fabricate an identity, focusing on what happens when these things dissolve or become fragmented… This piece of autofiction has a strange and perfectly balanced duality of softness and seriousness. The text is melancholic and nostalgic, but also urgent and of its time.” —Guardian

“This Tilting World is a fast-moving reflection on leaving Tunisia following the terrorist attack that killed thirty-eight tourists on the beach at Sousse. ‘So this is my life,’ Fellous writes. ‘I’m completely exhausted. I don’t know what to do, I cant sleep, I’m mortally afraid, my life is shot to pieces. And my children know nothing of my past. I wanted to explain it in a little private book…. A book is precious; that’s why I thought of you.’ A meditative nonfiction horror story on the North African coast, This Tilting World crashes over the reader in waves.”
Nate McNamara, Lit Hub contributor

Praise for Self-Portrait in Green

“NDiaye, who received France’s most prestigious literary prize…may be that nation’s most startling new literary voice.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[C]ompelling and tightly written.… Rather like a Francis Bacon triptych, there is nothing fixed, comforting, or coherent about the narrator’s identity or idea of herself, but the image she projects is incredibly vivid.… [NDiaye’s] prose reads effortlessly in Jordan Stump’s fine translation.” —Times Literary Supplement