The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Professor launches new book of immigrant stories

Immigrant authors tell their pandemic stories through different art mediums.
Veronika Kolosova
Co-editors Roxana Cazan and Domnica Radulescu at the book launch.

On Sept. 16, Romanian-born Domnica Radulescu, a comparative literature professor at Washington and Lee University, presented her 11th book at Downtown Books with co-editor Roxana Cazan.

Students, family, friends and members of the community gathered to support the editors and learn more about the book.

“Immigrant Voices in the Pandemic” combines stories about the impact COVID-19 had on art and how people create art through the lens of immigrants. It showcases diverse experiences of exile and loneliness during the pandemic.

“Writers and artists are the first respondents for the soul of humanity,” said Radulescu at the book launch. “In all times of difficulties, humanity has always had its artists that responded with works of arts as a form of strategy of survival.”

It’s Radulescu’s first work that “emerged directly from a time of global crisis.” The book consists of multiple art forms, such as poems, plays, artwork and stories by different authors created during the pandemic.

“We came together and said let’s put these books together and give them a life,” said Cazan at the book launch. “Let’s feature these amazing writers who people maybe haven’t heard of or who have something to add to the story of immigrant life.”

The featured artists are refugees and immigrants who based stories from the book on personal experiences.

“We both [Cazan and Radulescu] struggle with this push and pull, with the idea of transnational relationships, the transnational effect – all the emotions that are experienced and deepened by the layer of complicated reality for immigrants,” said Cazan.

Cazan and Radulescu first got to know each other via email when Cazan was writing her dissertation at Indiana University. A part of their early relationship was centered around Radulescu’s work.

Now, Radulescu says that co-editing “Immigrant Voices in the Pandemic” with Cazan was “a true joy.”

The co-editors share an academic interest in women’s studies that manifested in the book.

“My tendency is to really be in awe of women and women in power,” said Cazan. “I look up to them and I aspire to be one, and I want my son to grow up surrounded by women in power.”

The book “Immigrant Voices in the Pandemic” is also a feminist work that “opens doors towards social change and equality.”

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Veronika Kolosova, A&L Editor

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