cover image Empire of Dreams

Empire of Dreams

Giannina Braschi. Yale University Press, $50 (244pp) ISBN 978-0-300-05795-9

In this striking collection of brief, evocative prose pieces, many of them only one paragraph long, Puerto Rican-born Braschi, a professor of Spanish at the City University of New York, describes moments of experience and their contingencies. ``The day jumped today,'' begins one piece, and the author's short, direct sentences--often both surreal and reportorial--accurately reflect odd interruptions of normalcy and flights of consciousness. Braschi's sensibility is urban, that of a New York City observer who's willing to test and re-imagine her impressions and sensations, at times with humorous gusto. As translated by O'Dwyer, her rhythmic, energetic prose is challenging yet accessible. (Aug.)