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Yo-Yo Boing! is a Spanglish novel by Puerto Rican poet and novelist Giannina Braschi. Braschi is the author of the postmodern poetry trilogy "El imperio de los sueños/Empire of Dreams" (1988) and the postcolonial dramatic novel United States of Banana (2011). Published in 1998 as the first full-length Spanglish novel, Yo-Yo Boing! is a linguistic hybrid of literary Spanish, American English, and Spanglish.[1] The book mixes elements of poetry, fiction, essay, musical, manifesto, treatise, bastinado, memoir, and drama. The New York Daily News called it an "in your-face-assertion of the vitality of Latino culture in the United States".[2] The book dramatizes the tensions between Anglo-American and Hispanic-American cultures in New York City.[3]

Yo-Yo Boing!
Cover art to the first edition of Yo-Yo Boing! by Giannina Braschi
First edition cover
AuthorGiannina Braschi
LanguageEnglish, Spanish, Spanglish
PublishedPittsburgh, PA : Latin American Literary Review Press, 1998
Media typeBook


Giannina BraschiEdit

Giannina Braschi, a National Endowment for the Arts fellow, is considered an influential and revolutionary voice in contemporary Latin American literature.[4][5][6] Braschi's Empire of Dreams is a postmodern poetry classic, first published in Spain in 1988.[7][8] Her most recent work is the postcolonial dramatic novel United States of Banana (2011). Braschi's collective work explores the politics of empire and independence, while capturing the trials and tribulations of the Latin American immigrant in the United States.[9][10] She has won awards and grants from National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, PEN American Center, Ford Foundation, InterAmericas, Danforth Scholarship, Reed Foundation, El Diario, Rutgers University, and Puerto Rican Institute for Culture. With the publication of United States of Braschi, CARAS Magazine named Braschi one of the most influential Puerto Ricans in 2012.[11]


Yo-Yo Boing! has many examples of the linguistic phenomena of code-switching between English and Spanish, as spoken by millions of Latinos and Hispanic-Americans in the United States and in Puerto Rico.[12] Through dramatic dialogues and conversations among a nameless chorus of voices, the work treats subjects as diverse as racial, ethnic, and sexual prejudice, discrimination, colonialism, Puerto Rican independence, revolution, domestic violence, and writer's block. In the book, intellectuals and artists debate English-only laws, ethnic cleansing campaigns, and the corporate censorship.[13][14]

The dialogue also features references to popular culture, books, films, sex, poetry, inspiration, and Puerto Rican artistic expression in New York. Artists and celebrities such as Woody Allen, Almodovar, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Pavarotti, Martin Scorsese, Fellini, Pee-Wee Herman, and Nabokov are celebrated and derided.[15] Scenes cross-cut throughout New York City from the Upper West Side literary soiree to the Lower East Side tertulia at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, "from the diner booth to the subway platform, from the movie theater line to the unemployment line, and from the bathroom to the bedroom".[16]


  1. ^ Ilan Stavans, "Language Games/Clearing the Voice: Braschi" in "Redreaming America: Toward a Bilingual American Culture" (pp. 172-186), edited by Debra A. Castillo, State University of New York, 2005
  2. ^ Daily News, "High Priestesses of the Vanguard," December 6, 2005, pages 57, New York
  3. ^ "Yo Yo Boing! by Giannina Braschi". Kirkus Reviews. September 1998. Retrieved 11 Dec 2015.
  4. ^ "Giannina Braschi". National Book Festival. Library of Congress. 2012. Retrieved 11 Dec 2015. 'one of the most revolutionary voices in Latin America today'
  5. ^ "Giannina Braschi: Book Fest 12". National Book Festival Transcript and Webcast. Washington, DC: Library of Congress. September 2012. Retrieved 11 Dec 2015. 'Braschi, a poet, essayist and novelist often described as cutting-edge, influential and even revolutionary'
  6. ^ Johnson, Hannah (May 26, 2011). "#BEA11: Books on Display, the Amazon Publishing Booth". Publishing Perspectives. 'Braschi is Puerto Rico's most influential and versatile writer of poetry, fiction, and essays'
  7. ^ Carrion, Maria M. (April 15, 2013). "La autora de Yo-Yo Boing!, Giannina Braschi, y la historiadora latinoamericana Arleen Diaz". University of Puerto Rico. Retrieved April 20, 2013. Empire of Dreams, considered a postmodern classic.
  8. ^ "Escritora e historiadora visitan la isla". April 12, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  9. ^ Jacobson, Matthew Frye (September 15, 2012). "American Studies Association President's Overview: 2012 ASA Convention Archives" (PDF). ASA. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
  10. ^ Jacobson, Matthew Frye (March 15, 2013). "American Studies Association News From the Editors: Reflections on the Annual Meeting". Retrieved 11 Dec 2015.
  11. ^ de la Torre, Patricia (December 2012 – February 2013). "CARAS 2012: Los grandes protagonistas de Puerto Rico". TELEVISA.
  12. ^ Martiza G. Stanchich, "Insular interventions: diasporic Puerto Rican literature bilanguaging toward a greater Puerto Rico," University of California, Santa Cruz, 2003.
  13. ^ Doris Sommer & Alexandra Vega-Merino, "Either Or", Introduction to Yo-Yo Boing!, Latin American Literary Review Press, Pittsburgh, 1998
  14. ^ Marta S. Rivera Monclova, "Discrimination, Evasion, and Liability in Four New York Puerto Rican Narratives", Tufts University, 2010.
  15. ^ Publisher's Weekly, Reed Business Information, 1998
  16. ^ Tess O'Dwyer. "Grunting and Grooming in a Room of One's Own: On Translating Giannina Braschi's Yo-Yo Boing!", Artful Dodge, New York, August 10, 1998.

Further readingEdit

  • Stanchich, Martiza G., "Insular interventions: diasporic Puerto Rican literature bilanguaging toward a greater Puerto Rico," University of California, Santa Cruz, 2003.
  • Haydee Rivera, Carmen, "El poder de la palabra y la experiencia transnacional: una entrevista con Giannina Braschi," Op-Cit: Revista del Centro de Investigaciones Históricas, Puerto Rico, 2013.
  • Stanchich, Martiza G., "Whose English is it Anyway? Giannina Braschi Levels the Bilingual Playing Field", Modern Language Association Convention, January 5, 2013.
  • Cruz-Malavé, Arnaldo, "Under the Skirt of Liberty: Giannina Braschi Rewrites Empire", Modern Language Association Convention, January 5, 2013.
  • Somer, Doris, "Either Or," Introduction to Giannina Braschi's "Yo-Yo Boing!", Latin American Literary Review Press, Pittsburgh, 1998.
  • Castillo, Debra A., "Redreaming America: Toward a Bilingual American Culture," State University of New York, 2005.
  • O'Dwyer, Tess, "Grunting and Grooming in a Room of One's Own: On Translating Giannina Braschi's Yo-Yo Boing!", Artful Dodge, New York, August 10, 1998.
  • Rivera Monclova, Marta S., "Discrimination, Evasion, and Liability in Four New York Puerto Rican Narratives", Tufts University, 2010.
  • Stavans, Ilan, "My Love Affair with Spanglish," in "Lives in Translation: Bilingual Writers on Identity and Creativity," edited y Isabelle de Courtivron, Palgrave, 2003.
  • Stavans, Ilan, "Latin lingo: Spanglish is everywhere now, which is no problema for some, but a pain in the cuello for purists," The Boston Globe, September 14, 2003.
  • Marting, Diane E., "New/Nueva York in Giannina Braschi's 'Poetic Egg': Fragile Identity, Postmodernism, and Globalization", The Global South, volume 4-1, Indiana University Press, Spring 2010.
  • Gonzalez Viana, Eduardo, "Cruce de fronteras: Antología de escritores iberoamericanos en Estados Unidos", 2013.
  • Paz Soldán, Edmundo and Fuguet, Alberto, "Se habla español," Santillana USA/Alfaguara, 2000.
  • Von Haesondonck, Kristian, "Enchantment or Fright: Identity and Postmodern Writing in Contemporary Puerto Rico", in "Cultural Identity and Postmodern Writing", edited by Theo D'haen and Pieter Vermeulen, Editions Rodopi, 2006.
  • Zimmerman, Marc, "Defending Their Own in the Cold: The Cultural Turns of U.S. Puerto Ricans", University of Illinois, Chicago, 2011.
  • Foster, DW, Review of Yo-Yo Boing! by Giannina Braschi, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, 1999.
  • Caroll, J., "Leading ladies: mujeres en la literatura hispana," 2006
  • Torres, L. "In the contact zone: Code-switching strategies by Latino/a writers," Melus, 2007.
  • "When Hybridity Doesn't Resist: Giannina Braschi's Yo-Yo Boing!"
  • Callahan, L., "The role of register in Spanish-English codeswitching in prose," Bilingual Review/La Revista Bilingüe, 2003.
  • Goldstein, Dara, "Complicating constructions: race, ethnicity, and hybridity in American texts," AB Thacker, 2008.
  • Mila Popovich, L., "Metafictions, Migrations, Metalives: Narrative Innovations and Migrant Women's Aesthetics in Giannina Braschi and Etel Adnan," The Humanities Collection, International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 10, pp. 117–128, 2010.
  • De Mojica, S., "Sujetos híbridos en la literatura puertorriqueña: Daniel Santos y Yo-Yo Boing!," Literaturas heterogéneas y créoles, Revista de crítica literaria latinoamericana, 2002.

External linksEdit

  • [1] Author bio: Library of Congress, 2012.
  • [2], video "Future of the Spanish Language," Oppenheimer Presents, Miami, November 21, 2009.
  • [3], video "United States of Banana," Michael Somoroff, Director, New York, September 2011.
  • [4], bilingual excerpts from Yo-Yo Boing!
  • [5] Evergreen Review
  • [6], WAPA TV, "Escritora puertorriqueña que poco a poco se ha abierto paso en Estados Unidos" by Normando Valentín, December 2011.
  • "Nuyorican Power," program on Nuyorican culture, featuring Giannina Braschi, Produced By: Evan B. Stone & Carrie Pyle for CURRENT TV.
  • [7] Latino Poetry
  • [8] NGO News
  • [9] Evergreen Review