Caras Special Edition: Most Influential Puerto Ricans of 2012

  1. Reblogged from Latin Culture Today:  Here are the highlights of “CARAS 2012:  Los grandes protagonistas de Puerto Rico“.   Patricia de la Torre, Editorial Director.  Jaime RIvera, Photography Director .  

    Topping the List of the Most Influential and Exciting Puerto Ricans Today are…

    Turning heads with their own eclectic spin on reggaetonCALLE 13 is the hottest band to emerge from Puerto Rico in decades, with 19 Latin Grammy Awards and 2 Grammy Awards. As hot as their sound is their political fire; these musicians are avid supporters of the Puerto Rican independence movement, both a source of controversy and a musical inspiration.

     GIANNINA BRASCHI, one of the most imaginative and funny writers to emerge from Latin America in the past 25 years, is the radical author of the new book UNITED STATES OF BANANA and the best-selling Spanglish novel YO-YO BOING!  The Associated Press calls Braschi’s writing “fearless” and her imagination “limitless”.  Whether her award-winning books are written in Spanish, Spanglish or English, Braschi is a festival favorite at headlining events such as the National Book Festival, The Modern Language Association Convention, and the PEN World Voices Festival.

    JENNIFER LOPEZ, the global performing arts sensation, is one of the most multi-talented artists and entrepeneurs today.  J Lo is an actress, dancer, film producer, philanthropist, and singer. In 2012, she was ranked at number one on business magazine Forbes‘s Celebrity 100 list, which named her the most powerful celebrity, with earnings of $52 million that year.

    ALEJANDRO GARCIA PADILLA is the new GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO as of January 2013.  Prior, he was a member of the 24th Senate of Puerto Rico and President of the Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico.

    CARLOS BELTRAN plays outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals. Beltrán is known for being one of the best all-time statistical hitters in Major League Baseball postseason games, which has earned him nicknames such as “Señor Octubre” and “the real Mr.October” .



    MARC ANTHONY is a two-time Grammy and three-time Latin Grammy–award winning singer and actor who has sold more than 12 million salsa and ballad albums worldwide.

TONY RAMOS, OLYMPIC GYMNAST FROM PUERTO RICO, placed in the finals at the London Olympics in 2012. May he bring home the gold from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero. 

RICKY MARTIN currently stars as Che in the Broadway revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita.  In addition to being a POP SINGER AND BROADWAY ACTOR, he is a philanthropist whose foundation is dedicated to eliminating human trafficking.

MONICA PUIG, TENNIS PLAYER, won the ITF tournament in Joué-lès-Tours in 2012, which included a first round win against Alexandra Panova.  Her star is on the rise.

BENICIO DEL TORO, ACTOR and FILM PRODUCER, has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a BAFTA Award.

RICHARD CARRION is not only the CEO and Chairman of BANCO POPULAR, but he also runs the Finance Committee for the International Olympics.  He is one of Puerto Rico’s most successful businessmen in addition to being a philanthropist dedicated to providing underprivileged children with education and sports opportunities.

*For more complete bios see CARAS 2012 SPECIAL EDITION: Los grandes protagonistas de Puerto Rico.


Göteborg Book Fair: Giannina Braschi

  • Bok & Bibliotek

 Giannina Braschi @ The Gotheburg Book Fair 2012: 

  • Thursday, September 27 at 2pm: @ “rum för poesi”
  • Friday, September 27 at 12pm: @ “aftonbladets monter”
  • Friday, September 27 at 5:20pm @ “internationella torget”
  • Saturday, September 27 at 4pm:@ “aftonbladets monter”

Giannina Braschi Readings in Stockholm 2012

  • Monday, October 1 Gothenburg University
  • Monday, October 8, Stockholm Public Library
  • Tuesday, October 9, Copa Cabana, Stockholm  






torsdag 27 september 2012, kl. 14:00

Läsningar med poeterna Giannina Braschi (Puerto Rico), Christer Hermansson, Heidi von Wright (Finland) och Jörgen Gassilewski.


 Språka på spanglish

fredag 28 september 2012, kl. 12:00

Poesiuppläsning av den puertoricanska författaren Giannina Braschi, biläsning av hennes översättare Hanna Nordenhök


Drömmarnas imperium

fredag 28 september 2012, kl. 17:20

Ett samtal om gränser eller avsaknaden av dem i förhållande till genrer, språk, nationaliteter. Vad händer med språket, världen?

Helena Erikkson/Giannina Braschi


Modern Language Association 2013: 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.–giannina-braschi_20111205213641.html


Entrevista: Giannina Braschi


El Yo-Yo en los Estados Unidos de Banana

Giannina Braschi estuvo en Puerto Rico hace varias semanas para presentar su nueva obra United States of Banana. Aproveché la ocasión para entrevistarla, ya que hacía mucho tiempo que deseaba hacerlo. Braschi es una de las escritoras puertorriqueñas más exitosas a nivel internacional y sus escritos son de carácter experimental. En esta entrevista dialogamos sobre varios aspectos de su obra y su perspectiva como emigrante puertorriqueña.

BERB: Siempre te he querido preguntar sobre tu primera novela en SpanglishYo-Yo Boing!”, que es publicada en el 1998 un años después que Rosario Ferré publicara en inglés y en Puerto Rico eso fue un escándalo cuando ocurrió, sobre todo por su editorial en el New York Times. En tu caso, y tal vez mi percepción está equivocada, no ha sido tan escandaloso, ¿no?

GB: Radical, sí.  Escandaloso, no.  Rosario me preguntó lo mismo: “Giannina, por qué no te atacaron a ti y me atacaron a mi?”

BERB: Y ¿por qué crees que no?

GB: Yo vivo en Estados Unidos y para mí es casi una necesidad ir de una lengua a la otra. Si a lo mejor estuviera en Puerto Rico no lo hubiera hecho,¿entiendes? No es una cuestión de hacerlo por el mercado.  Es sobre el proceso del emigrante a través de las lenguas. 

BERB: Pero el Spanglish es muy puertorriqueño.

GB: In spite of my family and in spite of my country, I’m writing the process of the Puerto Rican mind—taking it out of context—as a native and a foreigner—expressing it through Spanish, Spanglish, and English—Independencia, Estado Libre Asociado, and Estadidad—from the position of a nation, a colony, and a state—Wishy, Wishy-Washy, and Washy—not as one political party that is parted into piddley parts and partied out.

Yo escribo en distintos géneros literarios también.  El imperio de los Sueños es poesía y ficción. Yo-Yo Boing! es una novela pero también es drama. United States of Banana es ensayo, cuento, drama, y filosofía. 

BERB: Desde el primer libro de poesía Asalto al tiempo hay experimentación con el género.

GB: Sí, siempre estoy experimentando. Y así seguiré, porque me gusta. Me gusta retarme. No voy a escribir novelas latinoamericanas a la manera de García Márquez. No me atrae.

BERB: Además de la mezcla de géneros y la mezcla del código, lo otro es que mezclas voces dentro de tu obra ¿por qué?

GB: Porque a mí me interesa coger las voces, las conciencias de los pueblos, de las multitudes.  Cuando tú escuchas mis voces son voces que no tienen identidad, que salen de las esquinas de Nueva York, no son nombres concretos, son voces anónimas del pueblo, que salen y dicen su angustia.

BERB: Pero también hay un personaje siempre presente, una voz femenina fuerte.

GB: Lo que adoro de Rembrandt es que siempre se autoretrata a través de su vida.  Desde su infancia hasta su vejez.  Y los más bellos autoretratos son de su vejez. Por eso está mi personaje Giannina desde El imperio de los sueños hasta United States of Banana. Pero hay muchos personajes que son como los coros griegos. Expresan las voces de las mayorías como las protestas en Zucotti Park donde las mayorías están empezando a decir lo que sienten y lo que piensan.

BERB: Sí, como los letreros de protesta de Occupy Wall Street, que la gente escribía mensajes que a veces eran personales y a veces generales.

GB: Exacto.

BERB: Sí, es cuestión del signo. Esa es otra cosa que trabajas en tu escritura, el signo. Y me llama la atención que no hablas siquiera de la palabra, empiezas desde la letra. ¿Por qué?

GB: Exacto, es la grafía. También es que me detengo en las letras, busco significado en las palabras. Yo estudiaba con mi abuela y ella de cada oración sacaba una pregunta. Me hacía cuestionar lo que leía.

BERB: Y tu primera obra la publicaron en Barcelona en el 80. Esa no se consigue ya.

GB: Asalto al tiempo está incluido en El imperio de los sueños.  El otro día hablé con mi primer editor Víctor Pozanco en Barcelona, y él está publicando sus memorias y me incluye a mí como uno de sus descubrimientos. Me dice, “he tenido una suerte de conseguir gente como tú, que los publiqué sin saber nada”.

Y yo le dije “sabías algo” porque otro de sus descubrimientos fue Cristina Peri Rossi.  El gusto es un principio de organización—who belongs together and how do we recognize each other.

BERB: Tú leíste en el Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

GB:  Sí, me identifico con los Nuyoricans, con los desarraigados, con los que no tienen raíces y las buscan. No soy de aquí, ni soy de allá, no tengo edad, ni porvenir, y ser feliz es mi color de identidad.

BERB: ¿Por qué?

GB: No quiero ser una raíz enterrada en la tierra.  Prefiero ser un perro que camina y tiene una voz a ser una raíz enterrada. Gertrude Stein decía que arrancas las raíces y resulta que no son tan grandes como pensabas. Prefiero ser un perro realengo, mover mi cola y cantar a la luna y orinar en las raíces y darles alimento, pero no quiero estar enterrada.

Sin embargo este último libro es bien puertorriqueño. De repente me pregunté, ¿cuál es el problema del puertorriqueño a un nivel colectivo?

BERB: Hay gente que dice que ya no es necesario discutir la identidad..

GB: Estoy de acuerdo que la identidad no es importante.  That is why I part and depart from a principle of inequality in United States of Banana.  Siempre he estado no identificándome con las cosas.  No busco  la igualdad con las cosas, sino la desigualdad. Pero cuando te preguntan constantemente de dónde eres y tú constantemente contestas: de Puerto Rico, soy puertorriqueña. No matter how many years you have been out, 25 years, 30 years, you return to your roots, and you always say, soy puertorriqueña. It is not a matter of identidad. It is a matter of origin. Nunca me he identificado con la identidad, sino con el origen. 

Originalidad quiere decir volver al origen. Originalidad nace siempre del origen y Puerto Rico es una nación que no ha tenido nacimiento. La identidad no es mi problema.  Siempre he estado identificada conmigo misma.  No creo que los puertorriqueños tengan ningún problema con la identidad. Los puertorriqueños saben quiénes son a todos los niveles. Es un problema de origen.BERB: En tu obra hay una combinación de una experimentación lingüística junto a la corporeidad, a la escatología. Ese comienzo de “Yo-Yo Boing!” de esa mujer buscándose los orificios, sus excreciones y luego a hablar de lo que hace a un buen poeta ser poeta, lo que es bueno vs. lo que es grande. ¿Cómo hilas esas dos cosas que podrían parecer discordantes pero que en tu escritura no lo son?

GB: Bueno, el principio es un Close-Up del personaje.  Empiezo por la piel, por el cuerpo y luego voy entrando en la psique. Yo-Yo Boing! es una búsqueda de la psique y es una guerra constante cultural con un americano  que se ofende por cosas que no me ofenden a mí—como señalar con mi dedo.  Y ahí había una carga cultural que no es la mía así que voy a afirmar mi carga cultural, contestándole.

Los puertorriqueños son maestros en entender, to understand, stand under the stand.  Estamos debajo, trying to understand this power structure that is on top of us.  My new book is about changing perspective from the point of view of the colonizer to the point of view of the colonized.

BERB: Ésa es la condición, uno entiende más al otro que lo que entienden a uno. 

 GB: Sí. En United States of Banana también hay una pelea entre dos yo.  El anglosajón y el latino.  “Si Segismundo siente pesar, Hamlet se inquieta” es el epígrafe que tomo de Darío. Estoy siempre en conversación con Darío y con Neruda y Vallejo.  Pero también con Shakespeare y Eliot.  Y por eso caso a Gertrudis, madre de Hamlet, con Basilio, papá de Segismundo. Y en el sótano de Lady Liberty vive Segismundo, puertorriqueño, en un calabozo, encerrado por el pecado de haber nacido.”




Giannina Braschi





嘉尼娜•布拉斯奇是波多黎各最具影响的作家,她多才多艺,擅长诗歌、小说、散文。从事写作之前,十来岁上得过网球冠军,当过时装模特。曾住马德里、巴黎、罗马、和伦敦,后定居纽约,在高露洁大学、罗格斯大学、纽约市立大学任教。她拥有西班牙黄金时代文学博士学位,曾书评过塞万提斯(Cervantes)、加尔西拉索(Garcilaso)、洛尔卡(Lorca)、马沙杜(Machado)、巴列霍(Vallejo)、贝克尔(Becquer)。布拉斯奇是《梦想帝国》(Empire of Dreams)和《悠悠宝!》(Yo-Yo Boing!)的作者,其文笔犀利,获得多个文学团体和基金的认可,如国家艺术基金会、纽约艺术基金会、《每日新闻报》(El Diario)、国际笔会、福特基金会、丹福斯奖学金、波多黎各文化研究院、里德基金会等。她采用三种语言写作——西班牙文、西班牙式英文、英文——以探讨西班牙语拉美移民的文化适应过程,并表达她对自己岛国——母土、殖民地、州——三种政治选择的态度。布拉斯奇一生的工作都在唤起解放。


The Story of America Begins Here

Berättelsen om Amerika Börjar Nu

Giannina Braschi: ”Drömmarnas imperium” Publicerad 2012-05-25 08:36 Giannina Braschis prosa tar färg och tempo från gatans poesi. Samtidigt är den lärd och full av litterära referenser. Hennes skildring av 11 september är något alldeles nytt och eget, skriver Ingrid Elam.


Kort tid efter 11 september 2001 började de skönlitterära bearbetningarna av katastrofen komma, Jonathan Safran Foers ”Extremt högt och otroligt nära” publicerades 2005 och två år senare gav Don de Lillo ut ”Falling man”. Nu föreligger också delar av det hittills kanske mest originella bidraget till litteraturen om 11 september-attackerna i svensk översättning, Giannina Braschis ”United States of Banana” från 2011, som får inleda urvalsvolymen ”Drömmarnas imperium”. Så här kan det låta: Valmöjligheterna är absurda. De kan välja mellan potatismos, pommes frites och bakad potatis. Men hur man än serverar den är det samma potatis. Om du frågar mig om det är bättre att vara conquistada por un conquistador o exterminada por un exterminador, prefiero ser vencida Braschi skriver en prosa som tar färg och tempo av gatans poesi med dess speciella tilltal, hiphop-rytmer och stilblandning, men hon skriver inte på gatans språk utan på en bildad, litterär engelska och spanska, full av sofistikerade ordlekar. I korta stycken fångar hon tillståndet efter 11 september, mardrömmarna, skräcksynerna, politikens förfall. Vad finns kvar i New York? Staden iakttas av en spanskspråkig invandrare som talar direkt till alla som vill höra. Vilka är människans villkor nu? Kroppsdelar far genom luften, där faller en man i vit skjorta utan ben och huvud, här två avslitna händer som fortfarande håller varandra. Allt faller, tornen, börsen, människovärdet. Det är en apokalyps på blandat och brutet talspråk men det är också, märker man efter hand, en filosofisk betraktelse över 2000-talets öde land. Den genljuder av lärda referenser, inte bara kroppsdelar utan även diktrader och delar av dramatiska dialoger fladdrar förbi i efterskalvens luftvirvlar, en bit Yeats, en trasa Eliot, en essäsnutt Benjamin. Giannina Braschi doktorerade i litteraturvetenskap på 1970-talet, hon rör sig på ett västerländskt bildningsfält, men hon experimenterar fritt med de plantor som växer där och vänder upp och ner på hierarkier. Viktigast bland undertexterna är Shakespeares ”Hamlet” och Calderóns ”Livet en dröm”. Den senare handlar om prins Segismundo som låstes in av sin far i en jordhåla och växte upp där utan kontakt med världen utanför. Det är ingen tvekan om vem av de två som har jagberättarens sympati, Hamlet som dödar i skydd av ett draperi och tvekar där Ofelia vågar ta språnget ut på djupt vatten, eller Segismundo som reser sig mot sin far och mot alla odds lyckas vända sitt öde. Braschi lägger perspektivet konsekvent hos invandraren – själv är hon född i Puerto Rico – hon insisterar på att det spanska arvet är lika viktigt som det anglosaxiska och att berättelsen om Amerika måste skrivas om efter 11 september. Saf¬ran Foers och de Lillos romaner är i grunden traditionella berättelser om några livsöden i skuggan av katastrofen, medan Braschi gör något nytt och eget. Det handlar inte så mycket om vad hon berättar utan vad formen säger, nämligen att Amerika varken är en smältdegel eller består av många från varandra åtskilda ghetton. I stället är hennes Amerika en väv där alla inslag syns och berör varandra. Braschis bidrag till den nya berättelsen är allt annat än realistisk eller harmonisk, snarast blasfemisk, full av förtvivlan och svart humor. ”United States of Bananas ”är hennes senaste bok men den ligger först i det svenska urvalet som i övrigt rymmer en mindre bit ur ”Yo-Yo Boing!” från 1998 och en längre ur den bok som också är urvalsvolymens titel, ”Drömmarnas imperium” från 1988. Det är en klok omvänd ordning, de tidigare verken är svårare att ta till sig i bokform, ”Yo-Yo Boing!” blandar två språk till spanglish och de korta prosastyckena i ”Drömmarnas imperium” är hallucinatoriska New York-impressioner – före tornens fall. Båda är med sin rastlöst svängande rörelse som gjorda för högläsning. De två översättarna, poeterna Helena Eriksson och Hanna Nordenhök bidrar med var sitt efterord, Nordenhöks är en introducerande miniessä medan Eriksson snarast skriver vidare på Braschis text. Deras översättningar är utmärkta och fångar känslan av att befinna sig i den del av Amerika där människor möts i ett brokigt men ändå samlevnadsmöjligt flöde av språk och erfarenheter: New York.

Ingrid Elam

Library of Congress National Book Festival 2012

BookNews, Washington, DC, June 2012:

With the President and Mrs. Obama serving as Co-Chairs, the 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival will convene headlining poets and writers such as Philip Roth, Mario Vargas Llosa, Giannina Braschi, Jeffrey Eugenides, Philip Levine, and Nikky Finney.

The National Book Festival will take place on Saturday, September 22nd and Sunday, September 23, 2012, between 9th and 14th streets on the National Mall. The event, free and open to the public, will run from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, rain or shine. Festival-goers can meet and hear firsthand from the poets and writers, have books signed, and take their photos with PBS storybook characters. An estimated 200,000 people will attend.

Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for “American Pastoral.” In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House, and in 2002 received the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He has twice won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. “The Plot Against America” won the Society of American Historians’ prize for outstanding historical novel on an American theme in 2003–2004.

Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature, has used his writing to oppose authoritarianism and to condemn societies that fetter personal freedom. His works include “The Time of the Hero” (1963), “The Green House” (1966), “Conversation in the Cathedral” (1969), “The War of the End of the World” (1987), “The Storyteller” (1987) and “The Dream of the Celt” (2010). In the early 1970s Vargas Llosa began to advocate democracy and the free market. In the late 1980s he ran unsuccessfully for the presidency of Peru, recorded in his memoir “A Fish in the Water” (1993).


Giannina Braschi, called “one of the most revolutionary voices in Latin America today” by the PEN American World Voices Festival, wrote the postmodern poetry classic “Empire of Dreams” and the Spanglish tour de force novel “Yo-Yo Boing!” The Associated Press praised Braschi’s explosive new book “United States of Banana” (AmazonCrossing 2011) as a work of unlimited imagination and fearless language. She writes in a blend of poetry, prose, and drama, also mixing Spanish, Spanglish, and English. She writes in these three languages to express the enculturation process of millions of Hispanic immigrants to the USA and to explore the three politic options of her native Puerto Rico–Nation, Colony or State. She has won grant/awards from National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Ford, Danforth, and Reed Foundations, Puerto Rican Institute of Culture, and PEN American Center.

Jeffrey Eugenides, a native of Detroit, published his first novel, “The Virgin Suicides,” to acclaim in 1993. His novel “Middlesex” won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, Best American Short Stories, The Gettysburg Review and Granta’s “Best of Young American Novelists.”

Nikky Finney was born in South Carolina, a child of activists. She came of age during the civil rights and Black Arts Movements. Finney has authored four books of poetry: Head Off & Split (2011); The World Is Round (2003); Rice (1995); and On Wings Made of Gauze (1985). Professor of English and creative writing at the University of Kentucky, Finney also authored Heartwood (1997) edited The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007), and co- founded the Affrilachian Poets. Finney’s fourth book of poetry, Head Off & Split was awarded the 2011 National Book Award for poetry.

The Library of Congress Pavilion will showcase treasures in the Library’s vast online collections and offer information about Library programs. Sponsor Target will reprise its “Family Storytelling Stage” featuring authors and musical acts popular with young children. The 2012 National Book Festival is made possible through the generous support of National Book Festival Board Co-Chair David M. Rubenstein; Charter Sponsors Target, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patrons the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS KIDS; Contributors Barnes & Noble; Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive and Scholastic Inc.; and—in the Friends category–the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, The Hay Adams and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Thanks also to C-SPAN2’s Book TV, The Junior League of Washington and The Links. The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may be accessed through the Library’s website,