BOULDER, CO – January 27, 2015 – (HISPANICIZE WIRE) – To advance the works of the best writers of Latin and Latino America alongside the leading ethnic and minority writers of North America, Americas for Conservation + the Arts (AFC+A), a non-profit corporation, announces today that it has launched a publishing enterprise, Mandel Vilar Press (MVP). MVP is dedicated to identifying important writers who have been overlooked by corporate publishers in order to majoritize historically marginalized voices. MVP’s forthcoming publications reflect the mission of AFC+A by promoting environmental awareness, social justice, and intergenerational as well as cross-cultural dialogue.

“Irene and I are passionate about books and ideas, and through MVP we will be devoted to highlighting and publishing the numerous great writers overlooked by corporate publishers. MVP no doubt will live up to Franz Kafka’s mandate that ‘A book must be the axe of the frozen sea within us’”

“I’m thrilled to launch MVP with Dr. Robert Mandel and his wife Dr. Dena Mandel. Dena – our main editor – is the best and fiercest reader I know,” said Vilar. “Robert, as legendary publisher of Pantheon Books Andre Schiffrin did, has made extraordinary contributions to the culture of the Americas by taking risk after risk over forty years with each of his valiant acquisitions authored by international writers. There is much to ponder about the health of a nation when its people don’t read across cultures, and I hope that MVP will help open up our cultural borders and will play a vital role in maintaining a healthy and vibrant democracy and cultural literacy.”

Mandel added, “Irene and I are passionate about books and ideas, and through MVP we will be devoted to highlighting and publishing the numerous great writers overlooked by corporate publishers. MVP no doubt will live up to Franz Kafka’s mandate that ‘A book must be the axe of the frozen sea within us.'”

MVP’s inaugural three titles arrive simultaneously as e-books and hardbacks in mid-April 2015. MVP’s first novel, HOW SWEET IT IS! by the critically acclaimed author, Thane Rosenbaum, offers readers a romp through the Miami Beach of 1972. Holocaust survivors Sophie and Jacob Posner and their American-born son, Adam, intermingle with historical personalities including Jackie Gleason, Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, I.B. Singer, Meyer Lansky and even Fidel Castro. The Posner family finds that the solace they envisioned in the Sunshine State sadly, but often uproariously, eludes them.

In a book that combines history, mystery, and imagination, MVP’s second publication SEARCHING FOR WALLENBERG by the much-praised author, Alan Lelchuk, unravels past mysteries while navigating contemporary complications surrounding the unknown fate of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jews in Budapest from 1944 to 1945.

Arriving in time for baseball season, MVP also rejoices in the release of Alan Lelchuk’s BREAKING GROUND: How Jackie Robinson Changed Brooklyn, a revealing memoir about growing up in Brooklyn and the encounters between Lelchuk and his baseball hero, Jackie Robinson.

In the fall of 2015, MVP will issue books by three celebrated Latin American and Latino authors. In September, MVP will publish an English translation of NEWS OF THE EARTH, by renowned Mexican writer and environmentalist Homero Aridjis and translator Betty Ferber Aridjis, who are key figures in the battles to save the monarch butterflies, sea turtles, and the gray whales. NEWS OF THE EARTH is an environmental biography of the Aridjis’ lifelong relationship with the natural world as well as a history of the rise of environmental awareness in Latin America.

MVP is delighted to include in its Fall list a science fiction novel, WICKED WEEDS, by Pedro Cabiya, an acclaimed Puerto Rican writer, poet, and filmmaker. In the sci-fi world of WICKED WEEDS, a handsome and educated Caribbean zombie desperately searches for a chemical cure for his unwholesome condition.

MVP also celebrates the fall publication of a reprint in paperback and e-book, of Graciela Tiscareño-Sato’s award winning book of profiles, LATINNOVATING: Green American Jobs and the Latinos Creating Them, which showcases Latino-led innovation and entrepreneurship in the green economy.

MVP is managed by two experienced editors, Robert Mandel, Ph.D., the former director of five university presses, and AFC+A founder Irene Vilar, an accomplished memoirist, feminist speaker, and environmentalist. For two decades Mandel and Vilar’s collaboration resulted in the publication of ground-breaking books and translations authored by Jewish Americans, African Americans, Latin Americans and Latinos. Together, Mandel and Vilar successfully launched several major book series that resulted in the publication of over six hundred titles at Syracuse University Press from 1995 to 2000, the University of Wisconsin Press between 2000 and 2006 and Texas Tech University Press from 2008 to 2014. MVP anticipates similar success with the introduction of the following MVP book series: Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, American and World Jewish Literatures, and a New Shade of Green. MVP also plans to publish national libraries of conservation, literature, and culture for each country of the Americas beginning with Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

Through these titles and other forthcoming series, MVP serves as a conduit of multicultural exchange and a crucial channel for advancing diversity in publishing and cultural production. MVP endeavors to expand our cultural borders and play a vital role in maintaining a vibrant democracy by exploring and exposing the wealth of cultural literacy in the Americas.

For more information visit