An intriguing and hypnotizing work of postmodern fiction from groundbreaking Hispanic-American writer Giannina Braschi, Empire of Dreams chronicles a decade-long love affair with 1980s New York and all its contradictions. The city’s perversions and passions, power and marginality, grandeur and squalor come vibrantly to life in each of the book’s three sections. “Book of Clowns and Buffoons” imagines life in the city as a carnival-style spectacle that ultimately ends in chaos. Inspired by the Puerto Rican Day parade, a bucolic celebration reclaims the city in “Pastoral.” And “The Intimate Diary of Solitude” spoofs the magical realism of Latin American novelists such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez with its tale of aspiring actress-writer Mariquita Samper, who records the days of her increasingly outlandish life in a mystical diary. Wildly imaginative, rich and complex, Empire of Dreams has garnered glowing praise for being “an ‘in-your-face assertion’ of the vitality of Latino culture in the US” (New York Daily News).