American Voces, a new distinguished authors series at The John Hopkins University, opens its 2013 Fall season with the revolutionary poet and novelist Giannina Braschi on Thursday, September 26th. This new literary series is free and open to the public, and it proudly presents Transnational literary luminaries such as the Pulitzer Prize winning author of “This is How You Lose Her” Junot Diaz, National Endowment Fellow Giannina Braschi, author of the Spanglish classic “Yo-Yo Boing!”, and Guggenheim Fellow Cristina Garcia, best known for “Dreaming in Cuban”.
The magnetic speaker and Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Junot Díaz graced the series as the first distinguished speaker in March 2013, and set the casual but politically-charged tone for this new series. This MacArthur Fellow is the author of “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” and “Drown.” According to The John Hopkins newswire, “Whether he was talking about how the genres that ‘nobody takes seriously’–such as of horror, science-fiction, and fantasy–are better equipped to tell the stories of colonialism’s cultural violence than conventional narrative realism or offering advice for aspiring writers, he spoke candidly and self-deprecatingly used himself as an example.”
One of the most revolutionary voices in Latin American letters today, Giannina Braschi is best known for the Spanglish classic novel “Yo-Yo Boing!” and postmodern poetry trilogy “Empire of Dreams.” Her explosive new work of Post-colonial fiction “United States of Banana” on the liberation of Puerto Rico bridges drama, fiction, essays, poetry, philosophy, and performance art. On Sept 26th Braschi will read dramatic excerpts from “United States of Banana” and discuss hot topics such as immigration. On the subject she has noted: “There are two movements in the history of colonization: invasion and immigration. Emigration is a reaction to the invasion of a nation. Because they have been invaded–they will emigrate. This is about changing perspective from the point of view of the colonizer to the point of view of the colonized. The colonizer organizes the invasion but doesn’t prepare for the counter-invasion. The colonized moves from the land of the invaded to the land of his invader with the same adventurous spirit of the conqueror–not to avenge with arms but to reap the spoils of war–to infiltrate that new culture and to conquer it with his own culture.”
The next speaker is the Cuban born journalist and novelist Cristina Garcia who will appear on February 20, 2014 and discuss her new book “King of Cuba”, a darkly humorous work about an ailing dictator who refuses to accept that neither his health nor his grip on his country is swiftly failing. Among her most popular and studied books are “Dreaming in Cuban” and “The Agüero Sisters.”
American Voces was founded at The John Hopkins by Amanda Smith and Amy Sheeran with the mission of creating a dynamic public forum to engage with distinguished Hispanic authors who reimagine the cultural borders and traditions of U.S. and Hispanic literatures. This series is of interest to brainiacs, book lovers, those interested in exploring and celebrating Hispanic culture, scholars dedicated to Transnational Literature plus fans of the spoken word.
For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Department of Germanic and Romance Languages at The John Hopkins, located at 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218.
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