United States of Banana, a Tale for Our Times

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Midwest Book Review Recommends Giannina Braschi’s Graphic Novel

Synopsis: “I was a monument to immigration — now I’m a border control cop.” So admits the Statue of Liberty in Giannina Braschi’s graphic novel, “United States of Banana”. This rollicking and nakedly political allegory of US imperialism and Puerto Rican independence is illustrated by Swedish comic book artist Joakim Lindengren and based on Braschi’s epic manifesto by the same title.

The story takes us along on the madcap adventures of Zarathustra, Hamlet, and Giannina herself as they rescue the Puerto Rican prisoner Segismundo from under the skirt of the Statue of Liberty. Throughout their quest, the characters debate far-ranging political and philosophical subjects, spanning terrorism, global warming, mass incarceration, revolution, and love. The Marx Brothers, Pablo Neruda, Barack Obama, Disney characters and more make appearances in this stirring call to overthrow empire, liberate the imprisoned masses, and build a new country rooted in friendship, art, poetry, and laughter.

VERDICT: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

As iconoclastic and entertaining as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, “United States of Banana” is a tale for our times and unreservedly recommended for community, college and university library political graphic novel collections.

Midwest Book Review
United States of Banana comic book cover

It should be noted for personal reading lists that “United States of Banana” is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.61).

United States of Banana
Giannina Braschi, author
Joakim Lindengren, illustrator
Amanda M. Smith, editor
Amy Sheeran, editor
Mad Creek Books
c/o Ohio State University Press
180 Pressey Hall, 1070 Carmack Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1002
https://ohiostatepress.org/madcreek.html
9780814257869, $19.95, PB, 128pp

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