What is in the suitcase of a refugee escaping from a politically oppressive regime? Drawing on Domnica Rădulescu's recent memoir Dream in a Suitcase: The Story of an Immigrant Life, this event is an invitation to explore the multifaceted fabric of dreams and cherished memories immigrants bring to the US. Join us for a dialogue between the author, and her special guests who share similar stories of exile, uprootedness and resilience. 


Register for the event HERE.

About the book:

Dream in a Suitcase unravels a fast-paced journey of survival, resilience, and the power of love. The story offers a rich multicultural mosaic of a life divided not only between two cultures and languages, that of the heroine's native Romania and her adoptive US but also between Chicago's urban culture and that of a small town in Virginia marked by a heavy confederate history. This book is deeply relevant for our times as it offers an opportunity for American-born audiences to develop a deeper understanding for all those who arrived in this country as refugees in search of freedom, peace, and different versions of the American Dream.


"An extraordinary memoir of fortitude and freedom, a narrative that is vibrant and lyrical. Rădulescu takes us from Romania's dark dictatorial past to the world of literature and beauty, back to the landscapes of her beloved native country, then to her new home in America, and always to the geography of the earth. This is an extraordinary read and a covenant to the power of truth and words."  Marjorie Agosin, award-winning author of I Lived on Butterfly Hill.

"Domnica Radulescu is a courageous writer. Dream in a Suitcase, like her other novels, is a breathless read." Andrei Codrescu, NPR commentator, award-winning poet, and filmmaker.

Find out more about Domnica Rădulescu's work:


Buy the book HERE.

Event organized by ARCS in partnership with Immigration Research ForumArizona American-Romanian Cultural Collaborative (ARCC)Bucharest Inside the Beltway, Romanians of DC, Romanian United Fund, and ARCHER, with the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute in NY/USA


Domnica Rădulescu

Domnica Radulescu is an American writer of Romanian origin, living in the United States where she arrived in 1983 as a political refugee, having escaped the communist dictatorship of her native Romania. She settled in Chicago where she obtained a master’s degree in Comparative literature and a PhD in Romance Languages from the University of Chicago. She is the Edwin A. Morris Professor of Comparative Literature at Washington and Lee University. 

Radulescu is the author of three critically acclaimed novels, Train to Trieste (Knopf 2008 &2009), Black Sea Twilight (Transworld 2011 & 2012) and Country of Red Azaleas (Hachette 2016) and of award-winning plays. Train to Trieste has been published in thirteen languages and is the winner of the 2009 Library of Virginia Fiction Award.

Radulescu received the 2011 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and is twice a Fulbright scholar. 

 Radulescu also published fourteen non-fiction books, edited and co-edited collections on topics ranging from the tragic heroine in western literature to feminist comedy, to studies of exile literature to theater of war and exile, refugee art, and two collections of original plays. Two of her plays, Exile Is My Home and The Town with Very Nice People were runners up for the Jane Chambers Playwriting award in 2012 and 2013. Dream in a Suitcase. The Story of an immigrant Life  is her first memoir and it has been released from  Austin Macauley Publishers in December 2021.  






Roxana Cazan

Before teaching at the University of Oklahoma, Roxana L. Cazan taught literature, creative writing, and women's studies courses at Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania. She is an interpreter and translator of Romanian and a poet. Her poems have been featured in Poets Reading the News, The Windsor Review, Cold Creek Review, Construction Literary Magazine, Glass Lyre Press, Adanna Literary Journal, Watershed Review, The Portland Review, Harpur Palate and others. Her full-length poetry books are The Accident of Birth (Main Street Rag 2017) and Tethered to the Unexpected (Alien Buddha Press 2022). 

Roxana’s scholarly work focuses on ethnic and postcolonial literature and women’s studies and has appeared in Neophilologus, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Comparative Literature Studies, Studies in American Jewish Literature, American Journal of Undergraduate Research, and Demeter Press. A chapter is forthcoming in Remembering Kahina: Women, Representation and Resistance in Post-Independence North Africa, Routledge. 

She is the co-editor of the anthology, Voices on the Move: An Anthology by and about Refugees, Solis Press, 2020. 

Alina Ștefănescu

Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her partner and several intense mammals. Recent books include a creative nonfiction chapbook, Ribald (Bull City Press Inch Series, Nov. 2020) and Dor, which won the Wandering Aengus Press Prize (September, 2021). Her debut fiction collection, Every Mask I Tried On, won the Brighthorse Books Prize (April 2018). Alina's poems, essays, and fiction can be found in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, World Literature Today, Pleiades, Poetry, BOMB, Crab Creek Review, and others. She serves as poetry editor for several journals, reviewer and critic for others, and Co-Director of PEN America's Birmingham Chapter. She is currently working on a novel-like creature. More online at www.alinastefanescuwriter.com.

Otilia Baraboi, Ph.D.

Before coming to Seattle in 2000 from Romania, Otilia worked as a literary journalist and published short-fiction, translations and articles. She holds university degrees in French and English literatures from Romania, Switzerland, and the US. She has a Ph.D. on the politics of translation from the University of Washington, where she taught French language and literature for 17 years, and where she is currently co-teaching a course on Romanian literature and film. In 2013, she co-founded ARCS and was President of the Board for five years before becoming ARCS’ first Executive Director. For Otilia, ARCS has been a wonderful opportunity to remain connected with the vibrant culture of her birthplace, while contributing to the artistic and cultural vitality of the Pacific Northwest. As part of her work, Otilia has been managing the Romanian Film Festival in Seattle and ARCS community-based school for Romanian heritage students, as well as more than 300 cultural and educational events over the past 9 years. Her priorities are to create sustainable, community-building programs and partnerships, as well as develop ARCS' brand identity in accordance with its mission and values. Most of all, Otilia hopes that her work will have a direct, long-lasting impact on the ways in which future generations will define, celebrate and pass on their heritage. Otilia is also the President of the Ethnic Heritage Council of the Pacific Northwest and a board member of Romanian United Fund.