A New Play! United States of Banana

Director Juan Pablo Felix brings to the stage for the first time “United States of Banana,” by Giannina Braschi on the post-911 American psyche around the politics of empire and independence.  The New York City debut takes place June 17th thru June 20th at The Schapiro Theatre at Columbia University.

Hamlet and Zarathustra join Giannina on a quest to liberate the Puerto Rican prisoner Segismundo from the dungeon of the Statue of Liberty, where he has been imprisoned by his father, the King of the United States of Banana, for more than 100 years for the crime of being born. The work tackles inter-American politics of empire and independence, the post-9/11 psyche, and the immigrant’s experience of marginality and liberation. The play depicts New York City as “the Darwinist capital of the Capitalist word” and U.S. imperialism as doomed as “a chicken with its head cut”. All Latin Americans are granted American passports, Puerto Rico is declared the 51st state, and then comes a revolution…

Adapted for the stage by Juan Pablo Felix and Giannina Braschi, author of United States of Banana, the Spanglish classic Yo-Yo Boing! and the postmodern epic Empire of Dreams.

JUAN PABLO FÉLIX is a theater director, filmmaker, and acting coach from Bogotá, Colombia. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and enrolled in the MFA Theater Directing Program at Columbia University School of the Arts. He has staged “Uncle Vanya”, “Two Sisters” and his own musical fairy tale “The Amazing Story of El Hombre Caimán!” He served as casting director for the Oscar-nominated film “Maria Full of Grace” and directs theater workshops at Estudio Babel in Colombia and EICTV in Cuba.

  • Wednesday June 17th, 2015 7:30 pm
  • Thursday June 18th, 2015 7:30 pm
  • Friday June 19th, 2015 7:30 pm
  • Saturday June 20th, 2015 7:30 pm

For more information contact: gracedenoncourt@gmail.com

Schapiro Theater, 605 West 115th Street, NY, NY 10027

tel: (212) 854-3408


American Voces @ John Hopkins



Giannina Braschi
September 26, 2013, 5:15pm
American Voces Authors Series
Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures
The Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218

For more details contact: americanvoces.jhu@gmail.com



“Banks are the temples of America. This is a holy war. Our economy is our religion.” Giannina Braschi.


John Wiley & Sons, Inc. = The Economist Book of Business Quotations, edited by Bill Ridgers, compiles the wit and wisdom of great thinkers such as Cicero, Confucius, and Aristotle to cartoon characters such as Homer Simpson and Dilbert. This collection features brilliant, zany, serious and pithy quotes on money, management, business, gambling, banking, economics, debt, capitalism, jobs, and wealth from a colorful cast of characters in politics, business, music, arts, sports, literature, philosophy and entertainment, including Benjamin Franklin, Vaclav Havel, Winston Churchill, Warren Buffet,  Lloyd Blankfein, John Cleese, Samuel Beckett, Henry Miller, Giannina Braschi, Albert Einstein, Arthur Miller, Brian Eno, Vince Lombardi, Jay Leno, Bob Dylan, PT Barnum, Oscar Wilde, and Vincent Van Gogh. Editor Bill Ridgers is a business writer and business education editor at The Economist.


The quote “BANKS ARE THE TEMPLES OF AMERICA. THIS IS A HOLY WAR. OUR ECONOMY IS OUR RELIGION” comes from the following scene in United States of Banana by Giannina Braschi

“I saw the hand of man holding the hand of woman. They were running to escape the inferno—and just when the man thought he had saved the woman—a chunk of ceiling fell—and what he had in his hand—was just her hand—dismembered from her body. Now we no longer have the Renaissance concept of the Creation of Man—those two hands reaching out to each other on the Sistine Chapel—the hand of God and the hand of man—their fingers almost touching—in unity of body and soul. What we have here is a war—the war of matter and spirit. In the classical era, spirit was in harmony with matter. Matter used to condense spirit. What was unseen—the ghost of Hamlet’s father—was seen—in the conscience of the king. The spirit was trapped in the matter of theater. The theater made the unseen, seen. In the Romantic era, spirit overwhelms matter. The glass of champagne can’t contain the bubbles. But never in the history of humanity has spirit been at war with matter. And that is what we have today. The war of banks and religion. It’s what I wrote in Prayers of the Dawn, that in New York City, banks tower over cathedrals. Banks are the temples of America. This is a holy war. Our economy is our religion. When I came back to midtown a week after the attack—I mourned—but not in a personal way—it was a cosmic mourning—something that I could not specify because I didn’t know any of the dead. I felt grief without knowing its origin. Maybe it was the grief of being an immigrant and of not having roots. Not being able to participate in the whole affair as a family member but as a foreigner, as a stranger—estranged in myself and confused—I saw the windows of Bergdorf and Saks—what a theater of the unexpected—my mother would have cried—there were only black curtains, black drapes—showing the mourning of the stores—no mannequins, just veils—black veils. When the mannequins appeared again weeks later—none of them had blond hair. I don’t know if it was because of the mourning rituals or whether the mannequins were afraid to be blond—targets of terrorists. Even they didn’t want to look American. They were out of fashion after the TwinTowers fell. To the point, that even though I had just dyed my hair blond because I was writing Hamlet and Hamlet is blond, I went back to my coiffeur immediately and told him—dye my hair black. It was a matter of life and death, why look like an American. When naturally I look like an Arab and walk like an Egyptian.”












Modern Language Association Presents: United States of Banana


Saturday, January 5, 2013 in Boston

Modern Language Association Convention             

SPECIAL EVENT!  A Dramatic Reading by Giannina Braschi, UNITED STATES OF BANANA @ 7:00–8:15 p.m., 206, Hynes Center, Boston

Hailed “The Wasteland of the 21st Century” by The Evergreen Review, Giannina Braschi’s revolutionary new work United States of Banana  is the subject of a dramatic performance and a scholarly panel at the Modern Language Association’s annual convention.   Braschi is the author of the postmodern poetry classic Empire of Dreams and the bestselling Spanglish novel Yo-Yo Boing! These titles form a mixed-genre trilogy on the subject of the American immigrant.  A 7pm performance by the author in the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Center, follows a scholarly panel earlier in the day by Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé, Maritza Stanchich, and Cristina Garrigós entitled Giannina Braschi’s United States of Banana: Revolutionary in Subject and Form” (12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Back Bay C, Sheraton Hotel).  Tess O’Dwyer, who translated Empire of Dreams and Yo-Yo Boing! from Spanish into English, serves as moderator.

Giannina Braschi’s United States of Banana: Revolutionary in Subject and Form”, A Scholarly Panel @ 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Back Bay C, Sheraton Hotel


 “Under the Skirt of Liberty:  Giannina Braschi Rewrites Empire” by Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé (Fordham University)


For the last two decades discourses on empire have been the province of postcolonial diasporic critics.  Writing from the vantage point of exile or diaspora, postcolonial critics, such as Said, Spivak, Bhabha, and Glissant, have meditated on questions of power and resistance in the relationship between former colonies and their metropolitan imperial centers in the current postcolonial world.  More recently Hardt and Negri have extended this meditation to the contemporary global economic system.  In her latest book, United States of Banana, New York Puerto Rican writer Giannina Braschi joins this meditation on agency and resistance but not from the vantage point of postcolonial exile but from that of colonial diasporas, such as the New York Puerto Rican community.  Using 911 and the current economic crisis as a catalyst for her critique, Braschi extends her previous dialogue with high modernism in her Empire of Dreams, to discourses on postcoloniality and globalization.  In my paper I will draw out the lines of this critique of postcoloniality and globalization from the vantage point of colonial diasporic subjectivity in the center of high modernism and postmodernism:  New York.

Biographical Note:

Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé is Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature and Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Fordham University in New York.  His most recent book is Queer Latino Testimonio, Keith Haring, and Juanito Xtravaganza: Hard Tails (Palgrave 2007), a book about the relationship between high art and Latino popular culture in the gentrifying New York of the 1980s.  He is also author of a study on the intersections of nationalism and sexuality in the prose fiction of the Cuban author, José Lezama Lima, El primitivo implorante, and coeditor, with Martin Manalansan, of Queer Globalization: Citizenship and the Afterlife of Colonialism (New York UP 2002).  He has published widely on Hispanic Caribbean and U.S. Latino literatures and cultures.  His essays have appeared in anthologies such as Entiendes? Queer Readings/Hispanic Writings (Duke 1995), Sex and Sexuality in Latin America (NYU 1997), and Queer Representations (NYU 1997), and in journals such as Revista Iberoamericana, differences, Revista de Crítica Cultural, Cuban Studies, and Centro: The Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies


“Whose English is it Anyway? Giannina Braschi Levels the Bilingual Playing Field” by Maritza Stanchich (University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras)


Giannina Braschi’s highly anticipated new novel The United States of Banana (2011), in line of flight from her groundbreaking quasi-novel Yo-Yo Boing! (1998), marks a paradigmatic shift in the millennial poetics of witness of Whitman and Martí’s New York with a high/low transcanonical, inter and transAmerican postmodern performance that levels the playing field to bring parity to the charged terrain of English/Spanish bilingualism. In Banana, Braschi proposes simultaneously post modern and protest poetics in dizzying global/local contexts, as U.S. global hegemony declines post 9/11, as the United States has fast become the second largest Spanish speaking country in the world, and as its colony Puerto Rico faces a historic crisis only deepened under local annexationist leadership. In both works, Braschi’s vanguard bilingual performance breaks with previous theorizations of the functions of interlingualism in diasporic Puerto Rican and Chicano theory (Juan Bruce-Novoa 1990; Juan Flores and George Yúdice 1990; Frances Aparicio 1988, 1997), as well as with Puerto Rico’s insular cultural nationalist linguistic discourses. In doing so, Braschi challenges a transimperial history of global power relations between English and Spanish (Mignolo 2000) with literary language that exceeds canonical traditions. Braschi also brings to the fore a vein of avant-garde literature of the Puerto Rican diaspora, along with the distinct projects of Urayoán Noel, Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, and the late Edgardo Vega Yunqué, as well as what I elsewhere call Post-Nuyorican literature, along with poets who uniquely venture into broadly comparative and international terrains, including Victor Hernández Cruz, whose most recent work explores Arabic and African linguistic influences in Spain, and Martín Espada, whose work straddles pan-Latino, trans-American literary traditions, engaging Latin American history as well as a global poetics of dissent.

Biographical Note

Maritza Stanchich, PhD, is an Academic Senator and Associate Professor of English for the College of Humanities at University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, where she teaches Caribbean, U.S., and U.S. Latina/o Literatures. Her scholarship on literature of the Puerto Rican diaspora and William Faulkner has appeared in Sargasso and Mississippi Quarterly, respectively. She has also published in Prospero’s Isles: The Presence of the Caribbean in the American Imaginary (2004), Writing Of(f) the Hyphen: New Critical Perspectives on the Literature of the Puerto Rican Diaspora (2008), and Hispanic Caribbean Literature of Migration: Narratives of Displacement (2010). She previously worked as an award-winning journalist in New York, Washington DC, and San Juan. Her recent columns for The Huffington Post and The New York Times have helped bring international attention to the crisis in Puerto Rico. She has also worked for academic unionization at University of California and with the Puerto Rican Association of University Professors (APPU).


“Breaking the Borders: Giannina Braschi’s United States of Banana” by Cristina Garrigós, Universidad de León, Spain


Giannina Braschi’s last novel, United States of Banana, combines characters from her previous works, such as Mariquita Samper, Giannina, and even the Statue of Liberty, that appear now interacting with Calderon’s Segismundo, Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Nietzsche’s Zarathustra. This makes it possible to read Braschi’s oeuvre as a whole and to observe in her writing a tendency towards continuity instead of rupture that is carried out in different levels. In a literary level, besides the intertextual inner and outer references, the book conveys a fragmentary discourse, through an aesthetic that defies the boundaries of the poetic, the dramatic, and the non-fiction essay. In this sense, it would fit into what Don De Lillo calls a “counter-narrative” (“In the Ruins of the Future”). Apocalyptic and deeply philosophical, Braschi’s text offers a reflection on the role of the human being, specifically, the latino writer in a global context where political, economical, social and linguistic boundaries are also questioned and erased, as epitomized by the relationship of Puerto Rico with the United States, and the destruction of the World Trade Center.  In this sense, my paper will analyze the fluidity of borders in her text in the different aspects mentioned above.

Biographical Note

Cristina Garrigós is Associate Professor at the University of Leon in Spain. She has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Seville (1999) with a dissertation on the intertextuality in the work of John Barth, and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has taught at Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Universidad de Leon, and Texas A&M International University. Her research interests include Postmodernism, Feminism, Literary and Film Theory, Bilingualism, and Borders. She wrote the book Un autor en busca de cuatro personajes: Ulises, Sherezade, Don Quijote y Huckleberry Finn en la obra de John Barth (University of Leon, Spain, 2000), and served as editor of La mujer quijote (Charlotte Lennox’s The Female Quixote, Spanish Edition, 2004) and El 11 de Septiembre y la tradición disidente en Estados Unidos (University of Valencia, 2011). She published the interview entitled “Chicken with the Head Off: Una conversación con Giannina Braschi” (Voices of America/Voces de America. Alonso Gallo, Laura, Ed.  Cádiz: Aduana Vieja, 2004), as well as the article “Bilingues, biculturales y Postmodernas: Rosario Ferré y Giannina Braschi”  (Insula. 667-668 Las Otras Orillas del Español: Las Literaturas Hispánicas de los Estados Unidos, 2002).


Related TV news videos: Interviews with the author. 




el imperativo poético

Francisco José Ramos

Conviene distinguir entre literatura y una obra de arte literaria. Literatura es todo aquello que nace de la inscripción de la letra y se vuelve escritura. La obra de arte literaria es la composición poética y musical de las palabras en virtud de lo cual la escritura logra dar a luz a una voz singular e irrepetible del pensamiento. Una voz que es, a su vez, cuantas voces sean necesarias para decir lo que tiene que ser dicho. Aquí no hay opciones sino una única alternativa: la necesidad visceral de crear y el deseo de obedecer lo que Paul Valèry llamó, refiriéndose a su maestro Mallarmé, el imperativo poético.

He ahí el vigor y el nutriente de una cabal experiencia literaria. Se trata de algo francamente raro, extraño y poco habitual. Tan raro, extraño y poco habitual como lo es este último libro de Giannina Braschi. Raro pero íntimo, extraño pero entrañable, poco habitual pero de una extraordinaria lealtad para el más exigente legado cultural de la inteligencia humana. De aquí todo lo demás en su más paradójico sentido: el amor a su tierra, pero también la devoción al desarraigo que le permite llegar a ser de cualquier otra tierra o, incluso, extraterrestre; el desprecio por toda forma de opresión, pero también el amor incondicional a la vida, el placer de cantar, como Dulcinea, a la abundancia de vivir. El anhelo de poseerlo todo, de apertrecharse con todo, de abrazarse con todo, pero también la entrega, la danza inigualable de la generosidad y la desposesión: “Yo los invito a que bailen por mí, a que se rían de mí, a que me digan que sí. Soy tu bailarín, tu doncella, tu bastidor. Soy el acto y la palabra. No tengo nada.” (El imperio de los sueños, 1988 ).

Por encima de todo, está el amor a las palabras y, por lo tanto, al silencio infinito que las habita. Conozco la laboriosa entrega de Giannina a su experiencia artística, vital y literaria de desde hace más de cuatro décadas. La he seguido, he colaborado con ella, he crecido con ella, me he transformado con ella. Me siento como padre, pero también como un hijo. Pero aquí da igual ser padre o madre, hija o hijo, hombre o mujer. No es asunto de género ni de filiación. Es la hermosa, dura y dolorosa aventura de devenir o llegar a ser todo lo que nuestra íntima potencia de obrar nos permita realizar. Lo singular, que no se reduce a lo “individual”, nace precisamente de ahí; pero también lo común, lo que es de todos, pero que a nadie pertenece: el aire, el agua, la tierra y el fuego.

Son necesarias muchas vidas, aun en esta única vida; y un enorme esfuerzo, una persistente dedicación, para realmente dar, ofrecer, entregar una obra que sea, no sólo una obra de arte, sino también una conversión espiritual de nuestra sensibilidad. Cuando esto se da, los muertos recuperan su juventud (Sono giovannei i morti nelle vivace ricordo… – Cesare Pavese), y los vivos deciden, por fin, no perder el tiempo con pendejadas. Desde El imperio de los sueños, pasando por Yo-Yo Boing! hasta llegar a United States of Banana, puede un lector o lectora, por más despistado que esté, constatar tanto la dimensión política de esta obra – porque se trata de una única obra única, y valga la redundancia – y, con ella, lo lúdico de su carácter de transgénero. ¿De qué se trata esto? ¿Es una novela, es teatro, es un ensayo, un tratado, una colección de cuentos o relatos, una autobiografía ficticia? «You have to label everything. You have to identify yourself in order to be classified according to race, sex, religion, literary gender and political background. And why is that so? It is so because we live in a thoughtless society. Well, I must say that United States of Banana is a peaceful, and powerful, declaration of war against thoughtlessness and any sort of labelization.» Nos podríamos imaginar una voz semejante para afirmar en consecuencia lo siguiente: se trata, ante todo, de un insólito experimento con el lenguaje que pone en evidencia la naturaleza política de una genuina lengua poética; donde político significa el desafío a la capacidad de convivencia, incluyendo la relación de cada cual consigo mismo y, por ende, con el otro. El acontecimiento del 9/11 – así con siglas se dicen ahora las cosas, como para no recordarlas del todo – es tan sólo el pretexto, es decir, lo que sirve de proyecto – y proyectil – al texto. El asunto medular es la muerte de la democracia o, mejor, su asesinato por parte de la nación que está supuesta a servir de modelo para la implantación de los “valores democráticos” y los “derechos humanos” (“Democracy is obsolete. Is an empty formula…” p. 56, United States of Banana, Amazon Crossing, 2011). Muerta o asesinada por su propia podredumbre: “I have nothing against the smell of rot but something against what hides the smell of something rotten in the United States of America.” (p. 24, ibid.)

Hay en esta obra una rebelión contra el lenguaje que se nos quiere imponer en nombre de la libertad para hacernos a todas y a todos esclavos de nuestra propia mansedumbre. Por eso se escribe en inglés. Pero el inglés en que se escribe no es el de la lengua inglesa. Tampoco es el spanglish, pues esto implicaría el uso confuso e incierto del inglés y del español. Se trata del inglés de la lengua inventada por quien escribe para poder expresar su independencia, su emancipación; la emancipación que su pueblo no ha querido conquistar, porque se le ha visto sofocado en su deseo de independencia. De ahí el miedo de los puertorriqueños a tener que confrontar sus propias fuerzas, el goce de recrearse en su perpetua minoría de edad y la triste violencia contra sí mismo como manera de lidiar con la impotencia. Desde esa posición política, pero también ontológica – la de “la única, verdadera e irrenunciable independencia”, como alguien dijera alguna vez –, todos los recursos son válidos, siempre que se mantengan fieles a su cometido: crear un mundo poético capaz de convocar a las voces más nobles de la gran tradición del pensamiento Occidental: Homero, Sófocles, Platón, Dante, Calderón, Quevedo, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Nietzsche, Darío, Elliot, Artaud… . En ese contexto aparecen Giannina, Segismundo, Hamlet y Zaratustra. No se trata sólo de personajes sino también de las diversas voces por las que se articula una única voz propia y singular, o a la manera en que un corifeo contemporáneo se hace eco de un coro multitudinario.  

De esta manera, una puertorriqueña nacida en San Juan y radicada, como tantos de los suyos, en la ciudad de Nueva York, en las entrañas del monstruo, con nombre y apellido italiano y corso, decide dar este regalo al mundo, como en su momento hizo lo propio Julia de Burgos. Llevada de la mano de Nilita Vientós Gastón, con la memoria de sus ancestros, y junto a su incansable colaboradora y traductora Tess O’Dwyer, Giannina simplemente escribe. Y le ofrece este hermoso y vivo regalo al mundo. En hora buena, Giannina Braschi Firpi.


Francisco Jose Ramos y Giannina Braschi, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras.


Novela de Braschi fantasea con un mundo ideal para hispanos

ImageNUEVA YORK (AP) — La imaginación sin límites de Giannina Braschi queda plasmada en su libro “United States of Banana”, una novela en la que inmigrantes latinoamericanos reciben pasaportes estadounidenses, se mezclan con personajes como Hamlet y declaran la independencia de Puerto Rico.

Esa mezcla de fantasía, humor sarcástico y lenguaje sin tapujos se hace notar en las aproximadamente 300 páginas del libro, que se venderá internacionalmente a partir del 8 de noviembre.

“Mi fantasía nace de ser inútil en un mundo tan práctico”, explicó esta semana la escritora puertorriqueña durante una entrevista con The Associated Press (AP).

Braschi tardó 10 años en escribir “United States of Banana” y relatar un mundo caótico posterior a los ataques del 11 de septiembre del 2001. En la novela explora la vida de los 50 millones de hispanos en Estados Unidos, el estatus político de Puerto Rico y la relación política y comercial entre América Latina y Estados Unidos.

A través del personaje de Hamlet, creado por William Shakespeare; Zaratustra, del escritor alemán Friedrich Nietzsche, y un político boricua llamado Segismundo que está encerrado en las mazmorras de la Estatua de la Libertad, Braschi explora la caída del imperio norteamericano y la llamada “liberación” de los hispanos.

“Hablo de la inconformidad de la gente. Todos estos que protestan en Wall Street ahora… esa inconformidad yo la sentí mucho antes. Casi me siento como una profeta porque lo sentí. Yo iba caminando por las calles y escuchaba sus voces, escuchaba lo que la gente estaba pensando y lo escribí así mismo”, dijo la autora sentada en una silla roja de su moderno apartamento de Manhattan.

La novela publicada por Amazon Crossing y ya disponible digitalmente para Kindle es la primera en inglés de Braschi, también autora de “Yo-Yo Boing!” (1998) en español e inglés, y “El imperio de los sueños” (1988), en español.

La escritora, de risa fácil y sonrisa amable, ha impartido cursos de literatura en las universidades de Rutgers, en Nueva Jersey, y el City College de Nueva York, entre otras. El 1ro de diciembre leerá fragmentos de la obra en el Instituto Cervantes.

Braschi vivía muy cerca de la llamada zona cero de Manhattan en septiembre del 2001 porque se dedicaba a estudiar los simbolismos de la Estatua de la Libertad y quería ver el monumento a menudo. Tras los atentados, la autora se inspiró para analizar las olas migratorias que han llegado a la ciudad y la relación de las anteriormente llamadas “repúblicas bananeras” con Estados Unidos.

“El mundo lo que necesita ahora es significado. Una nueva espiritualidad”, manifestó. “Estamos buscando sentido a la vida porque nos sentimos vacíos y ese libro te da eso. Es como una guía espiritual de lo que te ha oprimido y de cómo liberarte”.

La boricua hace continuas referencias a su isla, describiendo la opción “wishy” como la independencia de Puerto Rico, la opción “wishy-washy” como el Estado Libre Asociado, y la posibilidad “washy” como la estadidad que convertiría la zona en el estado 51 de Estados Unidos. Braschi intenta aquí expresar la necesidad de dejar que los puertorriqueños averigüen lo que quieren y tomen su propio camino.

La escritora se convierte también en protagonista de la novela, hablando a veces en primera persona, y transformando a Hamlet y Zaratustra en inmigrantes hispanos cuya misión es liberar a Segismundo de las mazmorras de la Estatua de la Libertad. Pero para Braschi, “United States of Banana”, al igual que sus previas obras, no es sólo una historia que contar.

“En realidad no son libros, son etapas en mi vida”, explicó. “El recorrido de esas etapas; como la pintura negra de Goya y la pintura azul de Picasso”.

Claudia Torrens

United States of Banana

Reviewed by Daniela Daniele

Evergreen Review #129


Apocalypse and grand-guignol merge in Giannina Braschi’s irreverent account of September 11th. Turning disaster into a Surreal nightmare, she catalogues what is left of the attack to the Towers in the form of scattered body parts: here, the torso of a businessmen flying in his bright white shirt, there, two hands holding each other before the last jump, and, only few blocks away, a rolling head crowned by glazed donuts.

Perfect for an audiobook in its jazzy, colloquial style, and ideal to be read aloud in the corrosive style of Lenny Bruce, United States of Banana develops from the sophisticated intricacy of a Postmodern narrative, overlapping the voices of Segismundo and Hamlet, Calderon and Shakespeare, Seneca and Artaud. Through her intertextual vision shaped by the masterpieces of both the Spanish and the English tradition, the Puerto Rican writer accounts for the falling towers as the ultimate American spectacle, turning terror and catastrophe into a tragic comedy seen through the bewildered, satiric eyes of a Hispanic passer-by. Her black humor is as blasphemous as Max Papeschi’s digital collage of McDonald’s clowns in a military mission in Afghanistan. Challenging the fear and repression of dissent in the age of terror, Giannina Braschi wickedly brings a black humorous touch to the entropic scenes of disaster, writing from the estranged perspective of a Puerto Rican in New York. The best part of her writing lies in the code switching and the verbal ironies produced by her creative use of Spanglish, which contributes to make of September 11th a transnational event broader than the monochrome version staged on tv.

From its very title, United States of Banana, is the quintessential danse macabre of the millennium, coming from a word-player who knows how to grin at despair, like a Shakespearean fool who is too busy to dig out from the ashes the signs of a new era to partake of the mourning hoopla of the national order resuscitated after the mutilating attack to the most iconic towers in media history.