You May Have the Suitcase Now


Literary Nonfiction. Haitian American Studies. Critical Race Studies. Narrative Inquiry. Women’s Studies. Haitian Earthquake Narratives. You May Have the Suitcase Now reveals a powerful, original, unapologetic voice in the post George Floyd world. Already an accomplished writer in Haitian Creole and French, Beaudelaine Pierre offers a complex gaze on immigration in the Youwès (US) through the experience of a Haitian woman coming to grips with her history, with the unforgiving world of her new surroundings in the Twin Cities, with her hopes, despairs, and children’s future. Her writing is at once poetic, musical and jugular, a voice to be heard.  

—Joëlle Vitiello, co-editor of Elles écrivent des Antilles 

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Not since Edwidge Danticat has one written about the Haitian-American immigrant experience with such ferocity and tenderness. You May Have the Suitcase Now is captivating and unflinching its treatment of the most difficult and emotionally charged issues of our time: mothering while black, undocumented, and brokenhearted while bearing eloquent witness to memories of home scarred by fugitivity and colored by hope. With vibrancy and a fearless commitment to craft, Beaudelaine Pierre takes the reader on journey through the realities of an America that most of us refuse to see. 

—Zenzele Isoke, author of Urban Black Women and the Politics of Resistance 


The identity touchstones are all there—the new Minnesotan, the for-ever Haitian, the stressed but amused mom, the person of color driving fast in the white lane, the francophone voiceover and wit, the distant, admiring daughter, the nocturnal, always hungry reader, the refugee doubting her refuge, she of the half-packed suitcase—but you haven’t read them before phrased in a language as original and stirring as Beaudelaine Pierre’s. 

—Nataša Ďurovičová, co-editor of How to Write an Earthquake: Comment écrire et quoi écrire / Mo pou 12 Janvye 


The Suitcase is a powerful book of essays about home and exile and all that we carry with us, in and out of our physical and psychological “suitcases”. Beaudelaine Pierre takes us on a journey 

from Haiti to Minnesota and beyond and trusts us, her reader, with her most intimate and challenging experiences. In both its hybrid form and content, this book is a superb addition to the growing literature of immigration and exile in Trump’s America. 

—Edwidge Danticat, author of Brother, I’m Dying 


This publication is funded in part by a grant from the Lake Region Arts Council through a Minnesota State Legislative appropriation.