In the Hispanic American classic Empire of Dreams, Giannina Braschi calls for a revolution in poetry — a revolution against the Latin American Boom. New York City becomes the site of liberation for its marginal characters who seek to experience the center of power, of meaning, of feeling, and of personal identity. Clowns, buffoons, shepherds, magicians, and madmen perform their fantasies in the city streets. In a climatic episode of a pastoral revolution, shepherds take over the top floor of the Empire State Building, where they dance and sing, “Now we do whatever we please! Whatever we please! Whatever we damn well please!” Newly translated by Tess O’Dwyer, this edition captures the euphoric spirit of the Spanish original and is an exquisite piece of artistry in its own right.
“A masterpiece, brilliantly translated. Braschi writes as an accomplished cosmopolitan heir(ess) to the tradition of Lorca, Neruda, Mistral, and Marquez.” – Alicia Ostriker
“Good poets write great poems. Great poets create a new language. Giannina Braschi is a brilliant artist who has invented a syntax that reveals how we think, suffer, and take delight in the twenty-first century. Though the tone can be playful, her work has deep roots in the subversive side of classical literature. The scale is epic.” – D.Nurkse
“Braschi is a constantly brilliant writer — her writing is the lively moment time and time again. She’s a treasure, a midnight, a sharp sun. In her work everybody lives.” – Michael Burkard
“Braschi writes with a strong poetic tradition behind her, and from her erudite standpoint she forges an odd mixture of poetry, prose, drama, and a little of what could be considered music. She imbues her text with jollity and a brilliant energy that stretches its audience from lovers of modernism to seekers of a broadened artistry of language.” – Carolyn Kuebler, Review of Contemporary Fiction
“An ‘in-your-face assertion’ of the vitality of Latino culture in the U.S.” – New York Daily News
“A striking collection of brief, evocative prose.” – Publishers Weekly Download and start listening now!