Are we Unique in America…
Author Yanique Beliard-Michel launches March 22nd, 2019. With immigration dominating today’s headlines, Yanique’s is a timely story that needs to be told. In her compelling memoir, Yanique leads readers on a deeply personal and emotional journey as one of the millions of strong, resilient immigrants who learn to adapt their dreams to realities in their new country.
Immigration is THE hot button issue in America. The story of Yanique’s immigration struggles shows the hardship, and reward, of the immigration process in the United States. Unique in America brings the human experience to an otherwise statistical topic.
Yanique’s story, while similar to so many other immigrants, is also distinctively her own. “The struggles while waiting to ‘become legal’ were myriad: I was Temporarily separated from my husband while he fought to get his license to practice medicine in America. Although both my husband and I had a doctorate in medicine from Haiti’s state university, he moonlighted in a nursing home as an aide and I worked cleaning offices for $3 an hour while I studied to become a respiratory therapist. My goal had been to work as a physician in America and raise a family. Now I have a new goal; it is time to share my story, our story, the humiliations, missed dreams, our strengths, and resiliency as immigrants. We are not unique in America.”
Synopsis of Unique in America – Raised by her divorced, self-sufficient mother, Yanique is seen as a privileged kid by her townsfolk of Cap-Haitian, Haiti. At home, she endures the wrath of her mother, who sees her daughter as the obstacle to her new life with her boyfriend, Julio. Still, Yanique follows her mother’s main advice—to obtain a college degree. By marrying Brunel Michel, she materializes her plan of a conventional family. Later an immigrant in the United States, Yanique becomes the single mother of her two daughters when her husband dies of cancer. Will Yanique commit the mistakes for which she reproaches her mother? Or will she catch herself in time to avert those mistakes? What will she sacrifice to hold on to the promises she made not to abuse her children? Yanique leads us on a deeply personal and emotional journey, one where maturity, loss, guilt, accountability, acceptance, and hope are explored through her life’s circumstances—and one that will resonate with readers as they see themselves in Yanique’s story.
Yanique what is your writing Kryptonite?
Creative influence, artistic inspiration, for me is any subject or event that strikes my interest. Issue or topic where I feel my input could present a different aspect and bring some light to cause a change for a better outcome.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? In 2009 I visited some parts of London to experience the feelings I wanted to expose in my book: The Trap. Hyde Park, Lebanese restaurants, stores owned by middle east residents offered me the facts I needed for my story.
If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be? I would tell my younger writing self to 1st make sure I have a professional editor preferably one working for a big publishing house to review my manuscript; 2nd establish a large social media presence.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing? I make sure I have a plan for the book I want to write, not just an idea. I try to give a different tone to each character.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power? I was about four years old. I told my grandfather about my grandma’s intention concerning him. He stopped coming to my house.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? I only have one half-finished book.
What does literary success look like to you? For me, literary success means that a great number of people read my book now and in the future. A classic!
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good Ones? I read my book reviews. The good ones gave me the courage to keep trying… The bad ones, I tried to understand the reviewer’s notes about my weaknesses; so I will write better next time…
What did you edit out of this book? I eliminated a whole section about my visit to a communist/socialist enclave I visited in Haiti’s countryside in 1971.
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