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Braschi writes cross-genre literature and political philosophy in Spanish, Spanglish, and English. Her work is a hybrid of poetry, fiction, theatre, memoire, manifesto, and philosophy. Her writings explore the enculturation journey of Hispanic immigrants, and dramatize the three main political options of Puerto Rico: independence, colony, and state.
Giannina Braschi was born to an upper-class family in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In her teen years, she was a founding member of the San Juan Children's Choir, a fashion model, and a tennis champion. Her father Euripides ("Pilo") Braschi was also a tennis champion.
In the 1970s, Braschi studied literature and philosophy in Madrid, Rome, Rouen, and London, before she settled in New York City. She credited her start in poetry to the older Spanish poets who mentored her when she lived in Madrid: Claudio Rodríguez, Carlos Bousoño, Vicente Alexandre, and Blas de Otero.
In the 1980s, Braschi wrote dramatic poetry in Spanish prose in New York City. Her postmodern poetry titles were published in Barcelona, Spain, including: Asalto al tiempo (Assault on Time, 1980), La Comedia profana (Profane Comedy, 1985), and El Imperio de los sueños (Empire of Dreams, 1988). She was part of the Nuyorican movement. New York City is the site and subject of much of her poetry. In a climactic episode of Braschi's Empire of Dreams, "Pastoral or the Inquisition of Memories", shepherds invade 5th Avenue during the Puerto Rican Day Parade and take over the City of New York; the shepherds ring the bells of St. Patrick's Cathedral, and seize the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Immigrant characters play the role of other characters, swapping names, genders, personal histories, and identities.Alicia Ostriker situates her gender-bending and genre-blending poetry as having a "sheer erotic energy that defies definition and dogma."
Braschi is an advocate for Puerto Rican independence. She declared the independence of Puerto Rico in United States of Banana and stated in the press that "Liberty is not an option -- it is a human right." In the 1990s, she protested the United States Navy's bombing exercises in Vieques, along with politicians Rubén Berríos and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., singers Danny Rivera and Willie Colón, and fellow authors Ana Lydia Vega and Rigoberta Menchú. Braschi spoke on a panel on "The New Censorship" at the PEN 2012 World Voices Festival where she offered "a critique of 21st century capitalism in which [she] condemned corporate censorship and control." In July 2019, Braschi led early marches outside La Fortaleza in Old San Juan to demand the resignation of Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello, and joined massive protests, with singers Bad Bunny, Residente, and Ricky Martin, that led to the Governor's resignation.
^Sommer, Doris (1998). Introduction to Yo-Yo Boing!. Pittsburgh: Latin American Literary Review Press. ISBN978-0-935480-97-9.
^ abcRiofrio, John (January 28, 2020). "Falling for debt: Giannina Braschi, the Latinx avant-garde, and financial terrorism in the United States of Banana". Latino Studies. SBN: 1476-3435: 66-81. doi:10.1057/s41276-019-00239-2.
^"Giannina Braschi". National Book Festival. Library of Congress. 2012. 'Braschi: one of the most revolutionary voices in Latin America today'
^"About Giannina Braschi: Book Fest 12". National Book Festival Transcript and Webcast. Washington, DC: Library of Congress. September 2012. 'Braschi, a poet, essayist and novelist often described as cutting-edge, influential and even revolutionary'
^"About Giannina Braschi". University of Oklahoma: World Literature Today. September-October 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-09-14. Retrieved . 'One of the most revolutionary voices in Latin American'
^Stanchich, Maritza (2020). "Bilingual Big Bang: Giannina Braschi's Trilogy Levels the Spanish-English Playing Field". Poets, Philosophers, Lovers: On the Writings of Giannina Braschi. Frederick Luis Aldama, Ed. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN9780822946182.
^Cortez Chico, Ricardo; Lopez Alicea, Keila (July 18, 2019). "Mobilized by Indignation: Demanding the Resignation of Governor Rossello". Front Page News Image. The Daily News of Puerto Rico. El Nuevo Dia.
Gonzalez, Christopher. (2017) Permissible Narratives: The Promise of Latino/a Literature. The Ohio State University Press. ISBN978-0-8142-5441-7
Gonzales, Madelena and Laplace-Claverie, Helene, "Minority Theatre on the Global Stage: Challenging Paradigms from the Margins," Cambridge Scholars, Newcastle, England, page xix and pages 255-264, 2012.
Torres-Padilla, J.L. (2007). "When Hybridity Doesn't Resist: Giannina Braschi's Yo-Yo Boing! In Complicating Constructions: Race, Ethnicity, and Hybridity in American Texts. U. of Washington P. Eds. David S. Goldstein and Audrey B. Thacker, 290-307.
Popovich, Ljudmila Mila (2010). "Metafictions, Migrations, Metalives: Narrative Innovations and Migrant Women's Aesthetics in Giannina Braschi and Etel Adnan." International Journal of the Humanities 9:10. pp. 117-128.
Zimmerman, Marc (2011). "Defending Their Own in the Cold: The Cultural Turns of U.S. Puerto Ricans", University of Illinois, Chicago
Library of Congress, National Book Festival, Giannina Braschi.
, The Evergreen Review:"United States of Banana" Reviewed by Cristina Garrigos and Daniela Daniele (2011)
, WAPA TV, "Escritora puertorriqueña que poco a poco se ha abierto paso en Estados Unidos" by Normando Valentín, December 2011.
Video on YouTube, television program in Spanish, "Celebrities desde Nueva York," con Alfonso Diaz, (Giannina Braschi on the collapse of the American Empire on September 11), November 2011.