Advancing diversity and conservation in publishing
ABOUT MANDEL VILAR PRESS: MVP (www.mvpress.org/) – the nonprofit publishing arm of Americas for Conservation and the Arts –is dedicated to connecting the literature of the Americas by uniting the works of the best writers of Latin and Latino America with the leading ethnic and minority writers of North America. Founded in 2015, MVP brings together the talents of two experienced editors, Robert Mandel and Irene Vilar. For two decades Vilar and Mandel’s collaboration resulted in the publication of important books and translations on Latin American, Latino, Jewish, and African American literature, art, politics, and culture. Robert Mandel and Irene 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. Their longstanding collaboration now continues with the establishment of MVP. Robert A. Mandel, Publisher [email protected]
Distribution: Ingram Publisher Services (IPS) 866-400-5351. Email orders can be sent to: [email protected] Individual book orders and other non-trade orders should be sent to: Robert Mandel, Publisher at [email protected] by phone: 806-790-4731 or by mail to Mandel Vilar Press, 19 Oxford Court, Simsbury CT 06070 | MVP Catalog
MANDEL VILAR PRESS 501 (c) (3)
Advancing diversity and conservation in publishing
Index Allan Appel, The Book of Norman Homero Aridjis and Betty Ferber, News of the Earth Homero Aridjis et.a;, Maria The Monarch Henry Allen, Where We Lived Will Wootten, Good Fortune Next Time Dick Cluster, Kill the Ampaya Andy Potok, 13 Stradomska Street Nava Semel, Isra Isle\ Pedro Cabiya, Wicked Weeds Blume Lempel, Oedipus in Brooklyn Beth Kissileff, Questioning Return Jay Neugeboren, Max Baer and the Starof David Thane Rosenbaum, How Sweet It Is! Alan Lelchuk, Searching for Wallenberg Alan Lelchuk, Breaking Ground New Shade of Green Imprint Forthcoming 2018-2019 Ordering and Subscribing plus How to Donate Digital Media Support Resources María the Monarch Illustration samples Notes Board of Directors
1 | MVP Catalog
The Book of Norman A Novel by Allan Appel
In this novel, set in LA during the 1967 anti–Vietnam War protests, two brothers compete for their dead father’s soul in a comedic tale of sibling rivalry, angelic messengers, and the serious business of who runs the afterlife. “I
can’t think of many novels that, while not taking themselves too seriously, manage to be intelligent and sympathetic to not one but two oft-misunderstood American religions. That is, there may be books that get Judaism right, or books, though I doubt it, that get Mormons right, but to get them both right? Quite a feat.” Mark Oppenheimer, religion columnist, the New York Times and author of Knocking on Heaven’s Door: American Religion in the Age of Counterculture The Book of Norman is a first in contemporary Jewish literature, probing with humor and seriousness Mormon-Jewish relationships and traditions regarding the treatment of the dead. It is 1967. Draft cards are being burned, and two Earth Angels in the form of fabulous, spiritual creatures with perfect tans have come to work at the camp where Norman and Jon Gould are employed as reluctant counselors. After dropping out of a Jewish seminary in New York, all Norman wants to do is catch up on sex, love, and rock ’n’ roll, while consuming as many treyf (non-kosher) cheeseburgers as he can. Yet when his doper brother, Jon, gets a buzz cut, sells his stash, and becomes a Mormon-in-training, the battle between them is engaged. It gets serious when Jon insists on baptizing their dead father, a Mormon practice that Jews--even one cheeseburger-addled rabbinical school dropout--deplore as a violation of Jewish teachings on the afterlife. As Jon becomes an expert on the vast architecture of Mormon heavenly realms where their dad’s soul could be waiting for him, Norman grows lost and confused, then outraged. Just when he is about to give up the soul battle, the Jewish angels assert themselves. A religious tug-of-war ensues, as Norman tries to pull his brother back to Judaism while Jon tries to prove to Norman that Mormonism is the way. The conflict over their father’s soul culminates in a monumental and hilarious game of basketball, pitting Norman and the angels against a Mormon team headed by Western Oaks (Wes, the Elder) and his compatriots. With the angels’ help, Norman becomes a reluctant, somewhat ridiculous, yet dauntless defender of the faith.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Allan Appel, born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles, is a prize-winning novelist and playwright whose books include Club Revelation; High Holiday Sutra, winner of a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award; and The Rabbi of Casino Boulevard, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. His work has appeared in the National Jewish Monthly, the Progressive, National Lampoon, and Tablet, and his plays have been produced in New York, Chicago, New Haven, and Provincetown. The Excommunication of Mrs. Eaton, about Puritan theocracy in early New Haven, won the Connecticut Heritage Productions full-length play award in 2011. He has published 14 books, including eight novels. His most recent novel, The Hebrew Tutor of Bel Air (Coffee House Press, 2010) is being optioned for television. The winner of two fellowships in fiction from the Connecticut State Office of Arts and Tourism, Appel lives in New Haven, where for the last decade he has been a staff writer for the online New Haven Independent. Paper with Flaps E-Book
ISBN: 9781942134312 ISBN: 9781942134329
344 Pages 344 Pages
2 | MVP Catalog
News of the Earth
Homero Aridjis and Betty Ferber, Translated from Spanish by Betty Ferber “I worked alongside Homero Aridjis in landmark battles in Baja to save the gray whales' pristine birthing sanctuary and a vital coral reef from industrial development. Aridjis, Mexico's most renowned living poet, is an international icon for his environmental activism. -- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., author of Crimes Against Nature "Homero is one of the planet's great environmental heroes."--Jacob Scherr, Director, Global Strategy & Advocacy, Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, D.C. "Since the establishment of the Group of 100 in 1985, Homero Aridjis has been an inspiration to fellow environmentalists all over the world.”--Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future, Co-Director of the Prince of Wales's Business & Sustainability Programme Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission between 2000 and 2009. "No one in Mexico has made a more important contribution to protecting that country's environment, an effort that has had ripple effects throughout the world," ---Lester Brown, the US environmentalist and founder of both the Worldwatch and Earth Policy institutes. "The Group of 100 is a movement of conscience that strives to change our relationship with nature. Thanks to this group, presided over by the saintly poet Homero Aridjis, in our world we can still enjoy the magic of monarch butterflies, sea turtles and gray whales."---Alejandro Jodorowsky, Chilean-French filmmaker, playwright, actor, author, comics writer and spiritual guru.
ABOUT THE BOOK
News of the Earth presents a wide-ranging and comprehensive selection of Homero Aridjis activist and pioneering writings in defense of nature and the environment. In 1985 Aridjis founded and led the Group of 100, Mexico’s most influential environmental group composed of 100 prominent personalities in the arts, culture and science. This book is also a biography of Aridjis relationship with the natural world, a history of the rise of environmental awareness in Mexico, documentation of the main environmental concerns of the past three decades, and a chronicle of the Group’s most important battles and victories. It is a significant contribution to environmental writing in any language, Aridjis involvement with critical environmental events and the protection of endangered ecosystems and wildlife have had global implications. Under his leadership, the group’s efforts led to a ban on the capture and commercialization of sea turtles, legislation reducing the amount of lead in gasoline, daily monitoring of air quality in Mexico City, and official designation of sanctuaries for nesting areas for the Monarch Butterfly. Aridjis waged a lifelong battle against threats to endangered ecosystems and wildlife in his country, many with global implications, including campaigns to save the grey whale, the bottle-nosed dolphin, the bee population, the giant saguaro cactus, the endangered coral reefs, and the rain forests of Mexico. This book highlights these crucial battles with detailed documentation of critical environmental victories. News of the Earth contributes to our understanding why we must preserve our global environment, while providing valuable lessons learned by someone who has been on the front lines defending the earth for decades.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Homero Aridjis, one of Latin America’s foremost literary figures, author of 48 books of poetry and prose, served as Mexico’s Ambassador to Switzerland, The Netherlands, UNESCO and international president of PEN International. He received awards from the United Nations (Global 500 Award), the Orion Society, Mikhail Gorbachev and Global Green USA and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND TRANSLATOR
Betty Ferber (Aridjis) born in New York and a graduate of Bryn Mawr College served as the International Coordinator of the Grupo de los Cien (Group of 100) since its founding in 1985. Her lifelong commitment to the environment was also honored by Mikhail Gorbachev and Global Green USA with the Green Cross Millennium Award for International Environmental Leadership. She is the translator of several books by Homero Aridjis into English. Paper with Flaps E-Book
Translated from Spanish by Eva Aridjis Illustration by Juan Palomino Afterword by Betty Ferber New Series: YOUNG ECO FICTION A Story for young readers (ages 8-14) about Monarch butterflies and the efforts to save them from extinction “I highly recommend this extraordinary trip to the kingdom of the monarch.”.— Dr. Lincoln Brower, Sweet Briar College, the world’s leading expert on the Monarch butterfly
ABOUT THE BOOK
Each year, in the Mexican town of Contepec, migrating Monarch butterflies spend the winter in the temperate forests of Mexico. This beautifully illustrated children’s book is an adventure story about two courageous cousins Eréndira and Corina. With the help of their community as well as Maria the Monarch butterfly, who speaks to them in their dreams, they save the lives of millions of Monarch butterflies threatened by illegal logging and traffickers of wild animals. Together they help preserve the natural and cultural wealth of their homeland. In an afterword for parents, “The Monarch: A Tireless Traveler” Betty Ferber describes the life and evolution of the Monarch butterfly, its migration from North to South America, and the establishment of the sanctuaries in Mexico and the laws that protect them. Sample from the book: Erendira and Corina picked up butterflies from the brush to revive them. When the sun’s rays touched their numbed wings they had detached themselves from the clusters where they had spent the night to fly into the air, but they fell to the ground. The girls spotted Maria the Monarch on an oyamel root. As she was unable to fly, Erendira blew on her wings to warm them up, until she flew off towards the myriad butterflies that had formed a colony in the ravine, an image of the resurrection of winter. When they saw her take to the air, the girls didn’t know if they should follow her across the hill or go down to the village. Suddenly they looked up and were astonished to see Quetzalpapalotl herself flying through space with wings as radiant as an angel’s. Maria the Monarch took flight and followed her, and the girls followed Maria, until they reached a glass house with transparent walls through which they saw millions of butterflies fluttering about and caterpillars that would turn into butterflies munching on milkweed leaves. There were also paintings from pre-Hispanic times showing the quetzal as one of the thirteen birds that were symbols of the thirteen seasons of the sky and the thirteen hours of the day. The quetzal was perched on The Tree of the East in the House of the Sun. In another painting the Quetzalpapalotl, with a dark green abdomen and her wings spread, sat on the central World Tree. The girls were awestricken. Erendira was silent and lost in thought. When Corina asked her if she felt okay, she replied “I think my dreams are starting to become real.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Homero Aridjis, one of Latin America’s greatest living writers and environmental activists, is the author forty- eight books of poetry and prose including Eyes to See Otherwise (New Directions), Solar Poems (City Lights), and 1492: The Life and Times of Juan Cabezon of Castile (University of New Mexico Press). Through his activism in behalf of the environment, Homero Aridjis played a major role in the establishment of recognized sanctuaries for the Monarch butterfly in Mexico.
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR
Juan Carlos Palomino won first place in the IV Catalog Iberoamerican Illustration in 2013 for his illustrations for Samir and Yonatan, published by Ediciones Castillo.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Eva Aridjis is a filmmaker whose prize- winning films include Taxidermy: The Art of Imitating Life and Billy Twist, which played at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2003, she filmed Niños de la Calle (Children of the Street), bringing attention to Mexico City’s poverty epidemic.
ABOUT THE AFTERWORD
Betty Ferber is the International Coordinator of the environmentalist collective Grupo de los Cien (Group of 100) and translator of Homero Aridjis’s books. Lithocase ISBN: 9781942134343 Paperback ISBN: 9781942134336 Size: 10.5 x 8.5
64 Pages 64 Pages 4 | MVP Catalog
Where We Lived Essays on Places Henry Allen
Co-Published with Dryad Press
Pulitzer Prize winner Henry Allen recalls five centuries of his family’s history through the places they lived “Henry Allen is a man knows who he is and how and where he got there. His telling of his story rings and reads real. It is so good that if you have the time or inclination to read only one book this day—week, month, year, decade — do yourself a favor and make it this one.”--Jim Lehrer, American journalist and novelist, former News Anchor for the PBS NewsHour, author of several fiction and nonfiction books including A Bus of My Own and Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates "Henry Allen is the truest chronicler of our American dream. By taking us into the homes of his history, he reveals our own lives in shafts of sunlit prose streaming through the windows of time and place."--James Grady, author of Six Days of the Condor and recipient of France's Grand Prix du Roman Noir "These essays are seemingly casually written, so understated, assured and wry, that everything Henry Allen mentioned came back as vividly as the dream our childhood always is. I grew up around the same time, in the same area, but it took these essays to make me realize how amazing that world was, its immediacy paradoxically rooted in history, its small pleasures enormous. I loved the book." --Ann Beattie, author of Mrs. Nixon: A Novelist Imagines a Life and The State We're In: Maine Stories
ABOUT THE BOOK
Starting out as a letter to his descendants, to his children and grandchildren, this informative and entertaining memoir grew into a social history of a Henry Allen’s family chronicling many places they called home. His story begins with a farmhouse in Wales in 1557 and depicts places lived in the midst of Indian wars, a witchcraft trial, privateering, wagon trains, a split over slave trading, the bilking of a town in Rhode Island, the friendship of presidents, the dwindling of the old Anglo-Saxon hegemony, and the heartless mysteries of money, alcohol and gentility. A Pulitzer Prize winner, Allen brings alive nearly five centuries of family by describing places they lived: plantations in South Carolina and Guadeloupe, a boardinghouse in Queens, a grand old house in Orange, New Jersey, farmhouses, mansions, apartments, ships, tents and dormitories, ancient towns in Rhode Island and Connecticut. It’s a universe that exists only as a collection of memories, but it is as real in its poignancy and endurance as any collection of astrophysical data.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Henry Allen, an intense, mercurial, Marine veteran of Vietnam was the feature writer and art critic at The Washington Post between 1970-2009. He was awarded first prize for commentary by the American Society of Newspaper Editors (1992) and the Pulitzer Prize for criticism (2000). Among his books: Going Too Far Enough: American Culture at Century’s End (Smithsonian Institution Press), What It Felt Like: Living in the American Century (Pantheon), Fool’s Mercy: a novel (Houghton-Mifflin), and The Museum of Lost Air, poetry (Dryad Press). Allen has written for the New York Review of Books, New Yorker, Paris Review, Vogue, Wilson Quarterly and currently reviews books for The Wall Street Journal. He has been a guest on many radio and television, e.g., Charlie Rose Show, Discovery Channel, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Stephen Colbert and a frequent speaker at many universities including Princeton University, University of Michigan (Graham Hovey Lecture), Pennsylvania State University, American University, and F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference. Allen has taught cultural analysis in the University of Maryland honors program. Paperback with Flaps ISBN: 9781942134442 E-Book ISBN: 9781942134459
170 Pages 170 Pages
5 | MVP Catalog
$16.95 $ 9.99
Good Fortune Next Time
Life, Death, Irony, and the Administration of Very Small Colleges Will Wootten
Co-Published with Dryad Press
A personal, evocative and literary excursion into the perilous workings of small colleges “There may never have been a funnier or more honest account of life in higher education.”—Jonathan Larsen, former editor of High Times and the Village Voice “Will Wootton reminds us of the joys and the value of small liberal arts colleges [and] why we should fight—as he did mightily—for their survival.” —Dr. Paul LeBlanc, President and CEO of Southern New Hampshire University
ABOUT THE BOOK
Will Wootton, at various junctures in his life, has been a horse wrangler in Colorado, a sous-chef in southern Vermont, and the editor of a Chinese-English newspaper in Boston. While Good Fortune Next Time touches on these endeavors, its real focus is on the joys and tribulations of administering small liberal arts colleges in New England. This literary memoir tracks Wootton’s twenty-nineyear odyssey through the halls of academia, ending with his six years as president of Sterling College in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, where he paces back and forth on the “porch of worry,” coaxing the small but beloved college back to life. Will Wootton served as President of Sterling College from 2006 to 2012. Previously he was Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Montserrat College of Art, and for nineteen years he was Director of Development and Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Marlboro College. When Wootten arrived at Sterling, the college was facing dire financial prospects and possible closure. In relatively short order, he was successful in obtaining significant grants, while putting into place policies and initiatives that set the college on a strong economic footing. At the same time, he was instrumental in invigorating Sterling’s commitment to combining traditional and experiential academics, so that it is now receiving national recognition.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Will Wootton was President of Sterling College – the smallest liberal arts college in the nation – from 2006 to 2012. The college, located in Craftsbury Common, Vermont (the Northeast Kingdom, as well as Prior to coming to Sterling, Wootton served as Vice-President for Institutional Advancement at Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, Massachusetts, and for 19 years before then, he was at Marlboro College (southern Vermont), first serving as Director of Development and then Vice-President for Institutional Advancement. After retiring from Sterling College, Wootton took an interim position as Vice President of Advancement at New Mexico Highlands University and Executive Director of Highlands Foundation. He and his wife Lulu live in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, where he has once more taken up sculpture that relies on organic matter. Paper with Flaps E-Book
ISBN: 9781942134350 ISBN: 9781942134374
288 Pages 288 Pages
6 | MVP Catalog
Kill the Ámpaya!
The Best Latin American Baseball Fiction Edited and Translated by Dick Cluster The first English-language anthology of baseball stories by major Latin American and Caribbean writers "A masterful job..A welcome reminder that inspired writing about the sport isn't limited to the United States..Each story reflects a passion for baseball and a recognition that the sport and its lessons are omnipresent, reflecting and informing and mimicking real life.. 18 stories, the perfect number to fill the top and bottom of nine innings." –Paul Hagen, MLB.com "Each Spring brings a flood of books about ballplayers, managers and memorable teams. It may be that as this baseball season begins, no book related to the game is more necessary than this one. The great bonus is that Kill the Ampaya! is also great fun" Bill Littlefield, WBUR “If anyone still doubts that Baseball, the American pastime, is just as deeply embedded in the lives of Latin Americans—in their love affairs, childhood dreams, aging regrets or fateful apparitions á la Casey Stengel—this sweet volume proves it.” –John Krich, author of El Beisbol “If baseball is really a metaphor for life, then Kill the Ámpaya—Cluster’s wonderful collection of Latin American baseball stories—is an astonishing record of its beauty and coarseness, redemption and tragedy. You don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate these stories and delight in this reading.”--Achy Obejas, Ruins and The Tower of the Antilles and Other Stories "These are stories we have lived ... Some are funny, some cruel or violent, but in the end they are part of our culture that makes us act the way we do. They make me think of the millions of stories that got lost behind us."—Omar Vizquel, an all-time best fielding shortstop from Venezuela who played for the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, and the San Francisco Giants. "Baseball is in the soul of millions in Puerto Rico and the other countries that play the game with Latino flair. These stories are portraits of its place in our lives."—Bengie Molina, from Puerto Rico, former catcher for the Los Angeles Angels, Toronto Blue Jays and the San Francisco Giants.
ABOUT THE BOOK
A rich variety of baseball fiction exists south of the Florida Straits and the Rio Grande, but almost none available in English. This collection translates for the first-time stories ranging from the highly literary to the vernacular. These inventive and entertaining stories reveal the place of baseball in Latin America. Mixing fan and fandom, baseball and politics, rural and urban life, sexism and poverty. Kill the Ámpaya! reveals how baseball shapes the social fabric of everyday South American, Central American and Caribbean life. The collection highlights internationally known writers such as Leonardo Padura from Cuba (The Man Who Loved Dogs), Sergio Ramirez from Nicaragua (Divine Punishment, A Thousand Deaths Plus One). Other well-known writers such as Arturo Arango and Eduardo del Llano from Cuba, Alexis Gómez Rosa and Jose Bobadilla from the Dominican Republic, Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro from Puerto Rico, Vicente Leñero from Mexico and emerging literary figures such as Salvador Fleján and Rodrigo Blanco Calderon from Venezuela, Sandra Tavarez and Daniel Reyes Germán from the Dominican Republic., Carmen Hernandez Peña in Cuba find representation in this multi-national ensemble of baseball stories.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dick Cluster, the editor and translator of this collection, is the co-author of History of Havana (Palgrave, 2010). He is also the author of the novels Return to Sender, Repulse Monkey and Obligations of the Bone and several nonfiction books including They Should Have That Cup of Coffee and Shrinking Dollars, Vanishing Jobs. His translations of Cuban literature include such works as Mylene Fernández Pintado, A Corner of the World (City Lights, 2014) and Pedro de Jesús, Frigid Tales (City Lights, 2002). Cluster taught courses on Cuban history, culture and politics at the University of Massachusetts at Boston where he was Associate Director of the University Honors Program. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area. Paperback with Flaps E-Book
ISBN: 978-1-942134-26-8 ISBN: 978-1-942134-27-5
232 pages 232 pages
7 | MVP Catalog
13 Stradomska Street A Memoir of Exile and Return By Andrew Potok
“I was deeply stirred and instructed by 13 Stradomska Street. Rare enough to find a book that reads wholly, convincingly honest, a memoir that doesn’t try to tunnel away from unwelcome truth via exit routes of bad faith.Potok's book is more than a fine memoir. It's also a profound meditation on human evils, on the Poland in the heart, on the persistence of the unforgivable, and on the intelligent human labor to live rightly nevertheless. I cannot recommend it too highly.” —Todd Gitlin, Columbia University Professor of Journalism and Sciology and Chair of the Ph. D. Program in Communications, Author of sixteen books, including "The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America Is Wracked by Culture Wars" “A terrific book! I could not put it down. The book turns back and forth between the author’s childhood memories and his blind journey back to Poland, weaving between the personal and the political. Potok draws the reader into the story with a deft evocation of childhood smells and Jewish cooking in Poland; the moving imagined conversations with his dead grandparents; the difficult, complex analysis of his father's almost disastrous actions at the Lithuanian border; and his profound and deeply layered account of hatreds he encounters, both before and after the War.”—Roger Porter, author of The Voice Within: Reading and Writing Autobiography and Bureau of Missing Persons: Writing the Secret Lives of Fathers. “This is a remarkable and memorable book in which horror is leavened by humor, and betrayal and venality by the riches of discoveries that come with time . . . and always, with a thoughtful, probing of the ways the past both imprisons us and sets us free. Potok is blind but he makes us see, as never before, not only the pre-World War Two landscape from which he and his family fled, but of how and why and at what price, despite all, they survived.”—Jay Neugeboren, author of award-winning novels such as The Stolen Jew and 1940 and of nonfiction, Imagining Robert, and Transforming Madness. “A civilized man in an uncivilized world, painter Andrew Potok examines the long reach of both his family's 1939 escape from Poland and his own encroaching blindness in this powerful and elegant memoir.”—Elinor Langer, a member of The Nation editorial board and author of A Hundred Little Hitlers.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When Andrew Potok was eight he fled with his family from Warsaw, leaving home and business to escape the invading Nazis. The family made it to America, but Andrew’s memories of violence, Jew hatred, and betrayal--including that of his father--erupted into nightmares and eventually formed the backdrop of his rich, though at times turbulent, life as an artist and writer. When, late in Andrew's life, a Polish lawyer offers to help him reclaim property in Krakow that was wrongfully inherited by a relative, he and his wife revisit Poland, with its still-virulent anti-Semitism. The visit awakens long-dormant memories and provokes deep reflections on the nature of evil. The ongoing lawsuit becomes emblematic of the book’s central theme: There can be no closure for survivors of the Holocaust--no justice for victims or perpetrators, no compensation, and no forgiveness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Potok was a successful visual artist until he went blind in his forties; after which he turned to writing and authored several important books: Ordinary Daylight, Portrait of An Artist Going Blind, about his loss of eyesight and its impact on work, identity, and personal relationships; My Life with Goya, a novel about a young Polish Jew’s new life in America following World War II; and, A Matter of Dignity: Changing the World of the Disabled, portraits of therapists and activists who worked to more fully integrate disabled persons into mainstream American life. He lives in Vermont. Paperback with Flaps E-Book
ISBN: 978-1-942134-30-5 ISBN: 978-1-942134-29-9
216 pages 216 pages
8 | MVP Catalog
ISRA ISLE A Novel By Nava Semel
Translated from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen “Semel’s novel explores an intriguing what-if scenario based on historical fact. In 1825, Jewish-American Mordecai Manuel Noah purchased Grand Island, near Niagara Falls, from Native Americans, planning to create a place of refuge for Jews. Semel’s novel asks the question, what if this plan had worked?... In this changed world, Israel never existed, Native American and Jewish customs have been merged, and the American Jewish state affects many issues in the world. Each of the main characters struggles with issues of religion, spirituality, and identity in streaming thoughts and discussions. Through those voices, Semel explores issues of global importance—such as terrorism, prejudice, and politics—in this singular, thought-provoking novel.” Publishers Weekly [A] spellbinding alternate-history…. Semel’s true achievement with this book is her seemingly effortless ability to demolish the walls we instinctively put up in our minds between the “past,” the “present,” and the “future.” …. Isra Isle suggests that, in two different universes (one in which Israel doesn’t exist, and one in which it does), the same problems persist: what does “home” mean? What about “exile”? Can we ever really escape tragedy and catastrophe, even if the conditions are vastly different?---Speculative Fiction in Translation “Isra Isle … is another genre-bending triumph, and a particularly sophisticated contribution to the vibrant literary tradition of Jewish alternative histories like Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union,[and] Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America.” –Ranen Omer-Sherman, Jewish Book Council website “It’s rare to read a book as brave and brilliant as Israeli author Nava Semel’s Isra Isle, a book that defies classification. Is it a detective novel, a la Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union? Is it a historical novel, rooted in the real life of Mordecai Manuel Noah, an American journalist and visionary, who in 1825 bought Grand Island, a piece of land downriver from Niagara Falls, with the hope of creating a Jewish homeland that never came to be? Or is it an alt-universe, science fiction novel where the reader gets to find out what might have happened if Noah’s vision had succeeded? The answer, of course, is that this extraordinary and extraordinarily strange book is all three.’--NecessaryFiction.com February 2017 by Peter Grandbois, author of seven award-winning books and a senior editor at Boulevard magazine, “In a daring and brilliant book, Nava Semel turns the Zionist narrative upside-down and contemplates whether it would have been possible to change the history of the Jewish people…This is a fascinating book that connects Jews, Indians and Afro-Americans, all with a persecuted past and searching for a homeland, and asks the question, “What would have happened if…?” —Abraham B. Yehoshua, author, Mr. Mani, Five Seasons, and The Liberated Bride “Semel once again proves herself one of the most original voices in Israeli literature. Equal parts detective novel, historical fantasia, and alternate history, Isra Isle offers a compelling exploration of modern Jewish identity for a postmodern world.” —Adam Rovner, author, In the Shadow of Zion: Promised Lands before Israel, University of Denver
ABOUT THE BOOK
Semel’s genre-bending novel offers an engrossing alternative history for Native Americans, American Jews, a prescient peek at presidential politics. In a tripartite investigation of what might have happened if Mordecai Noah’s purchase of Grand Isle from the Seneca actually materialized as a Jewish homeland with Native Americans.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nava Semel, is an Israeli playwright, screenwriter, and the author of sixteen books including Becoming Gershona, winner of the 1990 National Jewish Book Award
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Jessica Cohen is the translator of many Israel’s finest writers including David Grossman, Etgar Keret, Assaf Gavron, Rutu Modan, Amir Gutfreund, Yael Hedaya, Ronit Matalon and Tom Segev Paper with Flaps E-Book
WICKED WEEDS a Zombie Novel By Pedro Cabiya Translated by Jessica Powell
Finalist by Foreword Reviews, 2016 Indie Awards in Science Fiction/ Top 10 finalist for Best Translation Book Award 2017 “You know what’s been missing in your life? A work of Caribbean noir and science fiction! in Wicked Weeks, a smart and successful zombie desperately searches for the formula that would reverse his “zombie-hood” and turn him into a “real person.” Rachel Cordasco, Tor.com, Speculative Fiction in Translation: 15 Works to Watch Out For in 2016 "[A] Caribbean zombie novel navigates the uncertain pathways of the human heart in this cerebral take on the undead. ...Isadore is one of three complicated women in our protagonist’s life, one of a triptych that includes the passionate and visceral Patricia Cáceres and the naïve and open-hearted Mathilde Álverez. If you asked for a Caribbean version of Shakespeare’s Weird Sisters, you’d get a portrait of these three characters…. "[A] culturally resonant tale of zombie woe"" Kirkus Reviews “Threats of a zombie apocalypse seem to be around every corner, but what’s rare is an intelligent, thoughtful, funny, sentimental, socially conscious, and, yes, gross at times zombie tale infused with Caribbean culture, piques, prejudices, and passions. Pedro Cabiya delivers all of this and more in Wicked Weeds, one gentleman zombie’s quest to recapture his lost qualia, that indefinable, internal, sensory perception of self…Whether you consider yourself a lover of zombie fantasies or not, devour Wicked Weeds for its unique perspective, cultural insights, and charged humor.” Foreword Reviews
ABOUT THE BOOK
Wicked Weeds is a genre unique in its class: a precise combination of Caribbean noir and science-fiction Latin American style, that is, a work of speculative fiction full of humor, sociological pursuits, and in-depth explorations into religious syncretism and its survival in the modern world. It combines Cabiya's expertise in fiction, graphic novels and film to create a memorable literary zombie novel of a dead man's search for his lost humanity that can now take its place alongside other leading similar novels like Jonathan Mayberry's Patient Zero, S.G. Browne's Breathers: A Zombie's Lament, Daryl Gregory's Raising Sony Mayhall, World War Z by Max Brooks, and The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell. As for the novel's immersion in orality and Caribbean folk traditions and noir it can very well align with Wade Davis' The Serpent and the Rainbow and Karen Russell's St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. Set at the contact zones between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, this is a polyphonic novel, an intense and sometimes funny pharmacopeia of love lost and humanity regained; a most original combination of Caribbean noir and science-fiction addressing issues of global relevance including novel takes on ecological/apocalyptical imbalance bound to make an impact. A Caribbean zombie, smart, gentlemanly, financially independent, and a top executive in an important pharmaceutical company, becomes obsessed with finding the formula that would reverse his condition and allow him to become “a real person.” In the process, three of his closest collaborators (cerebral and calculating Isadore, wide-eyed and sentimental Mathilde, and rambunctious Patricia), guide the reluctant and baffled scientist through the unpredictable intersections of love, passion, empathy, and humanity. But the playful maze of jealousy and amorous intrigue that a living being would find easy and fun to negotiate, represents an insurmountable tangle of obscure intentions and dangerous ambiguities for our “undead” protagonist.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pedro Cabiya is a poet, screenwriter, and award-winning author of the bestselling novels Trance and The Head, and the seminal short-story collections Historias tremendas (Pen Club Book of the Year). He is dean of Academic Affairs at the American School of Santo Domingo and senior producer at Heart of Gold Films.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Jessica Ernst Powell, a PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara has published numerous translations of Latin American authors, including Antonio Benítez-Rojo, Jorge Luis Borges, César Vallejo, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Silvina Ocampo, Edgardo Rivera Martínez, María Moreno, and Edmundo Paz-Soldán, Liliana Heer, and Anna Lidia Vega Serova
OEDIPUS IN BROOKLYN AND OTHER STORIES by Blume Lempel
Translated from Yiddish by Ellen Cassedy and Yermiyahu Ahron Taub Co-published with DRYAD PRESS
Finalist Foreword Reviews, 2016 Indie Awards in Short Stories/ Book Riot’s 100 Must-Read Books on Women and Religion “Blume Lempel’s short story collection is a splendid surprise and a significant revivification of a brilliantly robust Yiddish-American writer.” Cynthia Ozick “These stories are a remarkable achievement. . . . She [writes] with modernist acuity…With shrewdness, wit, and lyricism, Lempel gives voice to the women, the aging, the ill, and others who, from the margins of modern society, have had trouble making themselves heard.” Kirkus Reviews "Stunning...a brilliant, talented writer with one foot in the prewar world in Europe and the other in postwar America....Highly recommended for all collections of Jewish literature." Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter “Richly evocative, filled with pleasure and pain, and powerfully human and humane.” The Forward "These are stories that deserve a cherished place in the canon of Jewish literature." Foreword Reviews “Blume Lempel conducts a conversation across multiple time zones and spheres . . . a heroic effort to create and sustain a choir of voices in Yiddish, her beloved and endangered language.”--David G. Roskies, author of Yiddishlands: A Memoir “A wonderfully original and controversial writer…. Blume Lempel left a remarkable legacy that this beautifully translated volume finally makes accessible to a wider audience.--Anita Norich, author of Writing in Tongues: Translating Yiddish in the 20th Century “The thematic and stylistic scope of Blume Lempel’s writing, as demonstrated admirably by Cassedy and Taub’s translations, is wide and richly integrated.”--Jeffrey Shandler, author of Adventures in Yiddishland: Post-vernacular Language and Culture “This new translation of Blume Lempel’s stories reanimates the melody of Yiddish, the mame-loshen . . . As one of her characters puts it: ‘No world language is comparable to Yiddish, to the Yiddish sigh, the Yiddish sense of humor.’”--Victoria Aarons, author of What Happened to Abraham?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Blume Lempel (1907–1999) born in Khorostkiv (now Ukraine), immigrated to Paris in 1929 and fled to New York on the eve of World War II. She wrote in Yiddish into the 1990s. Her prize-winning fiction is remarkable for its psychological acuity, its unflinching examination of erotic themes and gender relations, and its technical virtuosity. Mirroring the dislocation of mostly women protagonists, her stories move between present and past, Old World and New, dream and reality. This book is the first English language collection and translation of Lempel’s stories and is based on a manuscript that won the 2012 National Yiddish Book Center Translation Prize.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATORS
Ellen Cassedy, co-translator, is the author of We Are Here, which explored the world of the Lithuanian Holocaust and won numerous awards, including the Grub Street National Book Prize for Nonfiction. She is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, Hadassah, The Jewish Forward,. She lives in Takoma, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. Yermiyahu Ahron Taub, co-translator, is the author of several volumes of poetry, including Prayers of a Heretic/Tfiles fun an apikoyres (2013) and Uncle Feygele (2011), Honored by the Museum of Jewish Heritage as one of New York’s best emerging Jewish artists, Taub has been nominated twice for a Best of the Net Award and four times for a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Washington, D.C. Paper with Flaps Cloth E-Book
By Beth Kissileff "The year in Jerusalem you never had! ….A sensitive, nuanced, and believable journey to a place, both physical and spiritual, that feels utterly real."—Dara Horn, author,A Guide for the Perplexed, A Novel, The World to Come, and All Other Nights "The brainy, conflicted heroine of Beth Kissileff's heart-stirring debut novel Questioning Return goes to Israel to interview baalei teshuvah, Jews who have come home to a tradition once lost to them. The process launches her on an intellectual, spiritual, and romantic adventure that will change your understanding of what it means to truly belong. An eloquent and absorbing achievement."—Steve Stern, author of The Pinch, A Novel, Lazar Malkin Enters Heaven, and The Wedding Jester, ‘Can people change? It seems they do, but how and why? In Beth Kissileff’s lovely, widely-learned, and brooding debut novel, graduate student Wendy Goldberg sets off to Jerusalem to propose these questions to others. Unexpectedly, the young scholar finds herself the one questioned while returning to things at once ancient and always new: the porous boundaries between love and passion, the possibilities of transformative faith, and the mysterious nature of holiness in a place that itself seems a living thing to those who have eyes for it.” --Aryeh Lev Stollman, author of The Far Euphrates and The Illuminated Soul "Questioning Return is …. the story of a young woman's attempt to understand the meaning of 'return' but the novel becomes a tale of complex, memorable, and transformative beginnings. This is a novel as rich in the questions it probes as it is in the characters it renders. Beth Kissileff is a fearless, wonderful new writer--a gifted storyteller whose novel is as strong as it is tender." —Jay Neugeboren, author of Max Baer And The Star of David, Imagining Robert, and Stolen Rabbi, “Sex, death, Torah, more sex. This book’s got everything and then some!”—Gary Shteyngart, Super-Sad True Love Story “A memorable story of personal challenge and change set against the city’s unique spiritual landscape.” J-Weekly
ABOUT THE BOOK
Questioning Return follows an ambitious graduate student, Wendy Goldberg, as she spends a year in Jerusalem questioning the lives of American Jews who “return” both to Israel itself and to traditional religious practices. Have they changed themselves at all? Are they sincere? Or happier? The unexpected answers and her own experiences in Israel, including a bus bombing, a funeral, an unexpected suicide, a love affair, and a lawsuit, lead her to reconsider her own Jewish identity and values. Initially Wendy is certain that she’s on the path to academic glory. But from the moment her plane takes off Wendy is confronted with unanswerable questions of faith and identity. As she becomes immersed in the rhythm of Israeli life, her sense of distance from it fades. Her ability to be a neutral outside observer terminates abruptly when a student commits a horrible act immediately after his interview with her. Wendy is not sure how or if she is implicated in his action, but in her search for understanding, she is led to knowledge and love in unforeseen places. Though Wendy Goldberg planned to ask questions of others, she finds the ones that truly matter are those she asks of herself.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Beth Kissileff, a fiction writer and journalist whose writing appears regularly in publications such as the New York Times, The Forward, Tablet, Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post has received fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo and the National Endowment for the Humanities and taught at Carleton College, the University of Minnesota, Smith College and Mount Holyoke College. She is also the editor of a new anthology, Bible, Reading Genesis: Beginnings. She lives in Pittsburgh and is at work on a volume of short stories and a second novel. Paper with Flaps E-Book
ISBN: 9781942134237 ISBN 9781942134
372 Pages $19.95 372 Pages $14.99
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MAX BAER and The STAR of DAVID By Jay Neugeboren
Finalist by Foreword Reviews, 2016 Indie Awards in Adult Literary Fiction “Neugeboren has never been better than in this lush, joyful novel—as erotic and mysterious as The Song of Songs, and as clear as a heavyweightchampion's punch in the gut. I loved it.”—Robert Lipsyte, author of An Accidental Sportswriter “I was enchanted from start to finish, and when I closed the book I thought ‘Damn, this dude can write!’"—Gary Shteyngart, author of Little Failure: A Memoir “This lively, high-spirited novel is an irresistible tribute to the sweet science, and a thrillingly jaunty evocation of an almost forgotten era. Neugeboren has, as always, the gift of creating vivid characters and the imagination to put them through delicious travails.”—Philip Lopate, author of Portrait Inside My Head “With its larger-than-life characters who are all too human, Max Baer and the Star of David is a powerful and starkly gritty literary page-turner. Sorry, but I can't resist--this novel is a total knockout.”—Binnie Kirschenbaum, Hester Among the Ruins “This book will bewitch readers with its own powerful song and haunting love story, filled with regret and a deep rage against America's racial sins, past and present.”—Jerome Charyn, author of I Am Abraham “The true hero of the book is imagination …. Even readers who don’t think themselves interested in sports will enjoy the descriptions and plot developments… For any reader who cares about good writing and imagination, lover of boxing or not, Max Baer and the Star of David is required reading.”—Beth Kissileff, The Jerusalem Post “Jay Neugeboren creates a pair of distinctive fictional characters and deposits them into the life of the legendary Depression-era boxer. The writing is strong and the characters memorable…. But Baer’s life is mostly used to provide an outline for the story of Neugeboren’s fictional narrator, Horace Littlejohn…The real story…is Horace’s. He confronts family patterns and fights some important battles outside the ring. The author tells this story well.”—Jeff Fleischer, Foreword Reviews “[This] is a novel first, a boxing novel second…. The real fighters in this novel are the people that surround Max, Horace and Joleen and a woman Horace falls for as a middle-aged man…. Jay Neugeboren takes old fight-film footage, removes the graininess, introduces color, helps us hear and see the men and women behind the man, as well as the man himself, Max Baer, whose life was as colorful as the deep blue star emblazoned on his trunks.”—Adam Berlin, Boxing.com
ABOUT THE BOOK
As E. L. Doctorow did in Ragtime, in Max Baer and The Star of David, Neugeboren has created fictional characters who interact with this real historical character. At the heart of this novel are two mysterious and memorable fictional creations, Max Baer’s intimate companions, Horace and Joleen Littlejohn, who present themselves to the world as husband and wife but are, in fact, brother and sister. They become best friends and sometime lovers to Max in this story about the world of boxing, and about Max’s life in and out of the ring. The narrator is Horace, and Neugeboren has given him a distinctive and compelling voice in what is, among other things, a strange and affecting interracial love story like no other, where love and violence lie down beside one another in astonishing and surprising ways.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jay Neugeboren is the author of five prize-winning novels (e.g.The Stolen Jew, 1940), two prize-winning books of nonfiction (Imagining Robert, Transforming Madness), and four collections of award-winning stories. His stories and essays have appeared in many publications, including The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, The American Scholar, and The New York Times. He is on the faculty of the Writing Program of the Graduate School of the Arts at Columbia University in New York City. Paper with Flaps E-Book
ISBN: 9781942134176 ISBN: 9781942134183
208 Pages 208 Pages
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How Sweet It Is! By Thane Rosenbaum
Selected as the “Centennial book” by the City of Miami Beach in celebration of its 100th anniversary! “How Sweet It Is! plunges its fictional characters into the thrilling, dangerous, and often absurd world of Miami in the 1970s. It’s that rare book that manages to be both intensely informative and huge joy to read.”--Lara Vapnyar, author of There Are Jews in My House and Memoirs of a Muse How Sweet It Is! brilliantly and hilariously captures the Miami of 1972”—Huffington Post “Fans of the greater Miami megalopolis rejoice! Finally, there’s a novel that nails your part of the world!”— Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan, and Super Sad True Love Story “A powerful time capsule: open its covers and you enter a bittersweet moment in American Jewish history. . .. It’s all here—gangsters, survivors, flower children, school integration, Yiddish literature, the Munich Olympics, and the strange and beautiful possibilities of catastrophe and renewal in the elephant graveyard of 20th century American Jews, Miami Beach. Dive in and enjoy!”—Dara Horn, author of A Guide for the Perplexed and The World to Come “It’s hard to resist raising a toast to a book that shows Lansky, Frank Sinatra, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Muhammad Ali at a Little League Baseball game umpired by Fidel Castro. As Gleason, would say, “And awaaaay we go!” The Washington Post “A smart, funny, rollicking and razor-sharp novel.” -- Jonathan Kirsch, Los Angeles Jewish Journal, “Rosenbaum strives to balance moral seriousness with outrageous antic humor as he tries to make sense of … the Holocaust. . .. [M]any will enjoy his take on Miami Beach back in the day. How sweet it all was — in memory, anyway.” Jewish Week
ABOUT THE BOOK
Set in Miami Beach in 1972, HOW SWEET IT IS! follows the Posner family—two Holocaust survivors, Sophie and Jacob and their son, Adam—doing everything they can to avoid one another in a city with an infinite supply of colorful diversions. In ’72 Miami hosted both the Republican and Democratic political conventions and experienced the rise of the counterculture, the Cold War, and the desegregation of the old South. In the style of E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, HOW SWEET IT IS! is populated and enriched by the presence of many historical characters of the day including Jackie Gleason, Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Meyer Lansky, and Fidel Castro. Miami Beach was to be the Posner’s salvation. Instead they discover that it is not a place of camouflage—all that sunshine highlighted the very things they wished to forget. In this hilarious novel, Sophie Posner becomes a key figure in the Jewish Mafia as crime boss Meyer Lansky exploits her talents in a desperate attempt to restore the Jewish Mafia to its former glory and bring legalized gambling to Florida. Matching wits with the master Yiddish storyteller, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Jacob bemoans his fate at having to cope with Sophie, his irrepressible wife,Sophie, and her new fame and relationships. And the Posner’s teenage son, Adam acquires valuable lessons on standing one’s ground from the World’s Fastest Man, Bob Hayes. Collectively, the Posners find their lives quickly turning into a Disney World of funhouse mirrors and chaotic rides that give them front row seats through a transformational year in American culture, politics and world history.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Thane Rosenbaum is an essayist, law professor, and author of the novels, The Stranger Within Sarah Stein, The Golems of Gotham, Second Hand Smoke, and Elijah Visible, which received the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for the best book of Jewish American fiction. His articles, reviews and essays appear frequently in many national publications including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and The Huffington Post. He is a Distinguished Fellow at New York University School of Law where he directs the Forum on Law, Culture & Society. Now available in paperback for the first time!! Trade Paperback ISBN: 9781942134015 Jacketed Hardcover ISBN: 9781942134008 E-Book ISBN: 9781942134022
214 Pages 214 Pages, 214 Pages,
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$16.95 $24.95 $12.99
SEARCHING FOR WALLENBERG By Alan Lelchuk
“At once a detective story and an unusual love story… a novel within a novel filled with multiple layers and surprising characters that all lead to a deeper understanding of this enigmatic hero…A tour-de-force…deftly crafted and replete with distinctive characters and an impressively complex and absorbing original story. A solid entertainment from first page to last, "Searching for Wallenberg" is very highly recommended for community and academic library Fiction collections. Midwest Book Review “Let me give a word of warning—do not begin this book if you cannot clear your day because one you begin to read…it is impossible to stop. Not only is this a fascinating read, it is documented and we see that not only is author Alan Lelchuk a skilled novelist with a great imagination, he also did heavy research to write this book. “--Amos Lassen, Judaica “Offers a fictional account of Wallenberg’s life…more illuminating than any history we have or may ever get… Indeed, by the end of the novel, the reader feels closer to understanding the complex nature of Raoul Wallenberg, a man who simultaneously was both a “pure and saintly” character, as well as a “flawed and tainted” individual who undertook an important mission for humanity as an outsider, as a Swede …and as a determined opponent of the brutal Nazi authority.” Louis Gordon, Tikkun “Part detective story, part philosophic inquiry, part historic revisionism, Alan Lelchuk delivers a thinking man’s thriller….”— Jules Feiffer, Pulitzer Prize and Oscar-winning cartoonist “A tour de force…a compelling excursion behind Stalin’s iron curtain during the darkest early days of the Cold War.”—Martin J. Sherwin, Pulitzer Prize winner for American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer “A brilliantly constructed literary investigation into the mysterious life and death of Raoul Wallenberg..”—Michael Walzer, author of Just and Unjust Wars “Not knowing is the great subject of Alan Lelchuk’s remarkable novel about one man’s effort to learn to live on the border separating the known and the unknown.”— Thomas Powers, author of The Killing of Crazy Horse and Heisenberg’s War
ABOUT THE BOOK
Explores the mysteries still surrounding Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jews in Budapest in 1944-45, and was arrested by the Soviets in 1945, and taken to Moscow where he disappeared until his apparent death. How and when did he die? Did he perhaps survive in some Gulag camp or psychiatric hospital? Why did he languish in a Soviet prison from 1945-1947 without being exchanged by the Swedish government—as other political prisoners in Europe were--or rescued by his very wealthy and well-connected family in Stockholm? Lelchuk meditates on these enduring mysteries and tries to imagine, with the scanty historical evidence, what might have really happened. While writing this novel Lelchuk engaged in research traveling to Stockholm, Budapest, and Moscow, where he interviewed historians, mined archives and visited physical sites. He also met with some of the few remaining witnesses, including, most significantly, Wallenberg’s KGB interrogator (Daniel Pagliansky) in Lybianka Prison in 1945-47—the first and only Westerner to interview this key character.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alan Lelchuk, a novelist and professor, who received his B.A. in World Literature from Brooklyn College in 1960, studied at University College (London) in 1962-63, and received his M.A.in 1963 and Ph.D. in 1965, both in English from Stanford University. His critically acclaimed novels are American Mischief, Miriam at Thirty-Four, Shrinking: The Beginning of My Own Ending, Miriam in Her Forties, Brooklyn Boy, Playing the Game, and Ziff: A Life? He is a co-founder of Steerforth Press and since 1985 has been on the faculty of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Now available in paperback for the first time!! Paperback ISBN: 9781942134046 Jacketed Cloth ISBN: 9781942134039 E-Book ISBN: 9781942134059
How Jackie Robinson Changed Brooklyn By Alan Lelchuk
“Lelchuk is channeling ‘the voice of a boy partly by design, and partly by the power of that boy’s feelings still beating strongly in the adult.’ In doing so, he attempts to transmit his ‘true felt experience’ into a coming-of-age narrative in which baseball and Robinson play a singular role delv(ing) into Robinson’s complicated life as a symbol for a young man struggling to define his own Jewish-American identity in working-class Brooklyn. This … memoir transports the reader into the mind and heart of a young Alan Lelchuk, who finds his definition of American heroism in the tenacious Jackie Robinson.”—Sara L. Trembanis, Journal of Sports History “Lelchuk grew up in Brooklyn, the son of immigrants in the post-WWII era, and had a firsthand view of Jackie Robinson’s rise as a baseball player, a public icon, and a voice for equality. [He] uses both memoirist and historian eyes to examine a baseball great…. Many are familiar with Robinson’s baseball career and cultural impact, but Lelchuk gives insight into the hope Robinson brought specifically to Brooklyn, and particularly to its immigrant families…. While this book will catch the eye of sports fans and Robinson fans, its reach is far greater. It shows how one man changed the racial climate of a troubled borough during a trying era. But it also shows Robinson’s effect on one household and one young boy. Lelchuk’s great skill as a writer allows the book to meet the challenge of speaking on a personal and political level.”—Foreword Reviews “A unique look at Jackie’s time in Brooklyn told by somebody who was growing up there as it happened…Lelchuk’s stories of how the diverse people of Brooklyn identified with Robinson are poignant. After all, many of them had suffered discrimination and persecution, and now their team had a similar outsider who was suffering from discrimination. There are also good stories about the effect Robinson had elsewhere in America, but it’s mainly about Brooklyn. You can really tell how much Jackie meant to them and Lelchuk.” The Baseball Continuum.com “A fresh and insightful retelling, Lelchuk’s Robinson is both biography and history that implicitly reinterprets cosmopolitan Brooklyn as the crucible of the Civil Rights movement during its formative decade, 1947-1957.”—Martin Sherwin, author of the Pulitzer Prize winner, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
ABOUT THE BOOK
When Jackie Robinson started playing for the Dodgers, it was the first step of the Civil Rights revolution in baseball. While this historic event has been recorded in numerous books, Breaking Ground offers several revealing insights about Jackie Robinson’s career from an unusual perspective. First, it is an eyewitness memoir that captures in atmospheric detail the impact of Jackie’s very presence on Ebbets Field from the adoring eyes of a nine-year-old fan, who saw him play often. Second, it explains how Jackie’s special personality and play affected the borough of Brooklyn and changed it forever. Third, on a more personal level, it tells the story of how Jackie became an important figure inside the immigrant Lelchuk household, where a left-wing father, who had felt much estrangement from both America and his son, suddenly started to learn and understand the country of his son and of his own exile. Breaking Ground transports readers from the national baseball stage to the emergence of an iconic American city, from the throes and struggles of new immigrant family to a young boy’s deepest pleasures
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alan Lelchuk was born and raised in Brooklyn, attended public schools and Brooklyn College for his B.A. (1960) in World Literature and Stanford University for his graduate degrees in English (M.A. 1963, Ph.D. 1965). He taught at Brandeis between 1966 and 1981. He has been on the Dartmouth College faculty since 1985, lives in Canaan, New Hampshire, is married, and has two grown sons. A recipient of both Guggenheim and Fulbright Awards for fiction, his novels include American Mischief, Miriam at Thirty-Four, Shrinking: The Beginning of My Own Ending, Miriam in Her Forties, On Home Ground (for young adults), Brooklyn Boy, Playing the Game, Ziff: A Life? and most recently, Searching for Wallenberg. He was Associate Editor of Modern Occasions (with Philip Rahv) and co-founder of Steerforth Press. Paperback with Flaps ISBN: 9781942134077 136 Pages $15.95 E-Book ISBN: 9781942134084 136 Pages $15.99 16 | MVP Catalog
NEW SHADE OF GREEN IMPRINT In 2017-2018 MVP will launch three authoritative environmental themed book series under the the New Shade of Green Imprint, Including biographies of leaders of color for grades 3-5 advancing environmental stewardship and co edited with Latino leaders Jose Gonzalez of Latino Outdoors, Marce Gutierrez of Azul, and Vanessa Hauc of Sachamama; a series of eco anthologies of leadership of the Americas co edited with Dr. Carolyn Finney, author of Brown Faces White Places; a children's and YA series showcasing ecological inspired literature co edited with Ecuadorian author Edna Iturralde.
FORTHCOMING 2018-19 MY NAME IS/ME LLAMO Jose Gonzalez | My Name is Jose Gonzalez Adrianna Quintero | My Name is Adrianna Quintero Lorraine Netro | My Name is Lorraine Netro.
Titles Highlights 2018 CLIMATE OF HOPE ANTHOLOGIES Carolyn Finney & Irene Vilar | Where We Stand: Brown and Black Voices Speak the Earth Mark Magana, Chris Espinoza, Irene Vilar | The Green Latinos Anthology YOUNG ECO FICTION Edna Iturralde | Verde Fue Mi Selva Green Was My Jungle
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ORDERING & SUBSCRIBING Ask your local library to order these books: Distribution: Ingram Publisher Services (IPS) The phone number is 866-400-5351. Email orders can be sent to [email protected] Individual book orders and other non-trade orders should be sent to: Robert Mandel, Publisher at [email protected]/ 806-790-4731 or by mail to Mandel Vilar Press, 19 Oxford Court, Simsbury CT 06070
HOW TO DONATE MVP is the publishing arm of the nonprofit organization, Americas for Conservation + the Arts (AFC+A). Its primary goal is to publish important books in the areas represented by AFC+A. Sales revenue is not sufficient to cover all of our publication expenses. Private giving from individuals and foundations is essential to bridge this critical gap. All donations are tax exempt. Contributions to the Americas for Conservation + the Arts for MVP can enable us to: Discover, develop, and disseminate influential ideas and knowledge to growing audiences Sustain its commitment to intellectual integrity and publishing of the highest caliber Embark on new and expanded initiatives such as digital publishing General Gifts re used wherever funds are needed most in the current year Individual Books and Named Books Series Sponsorships support development and production costs such as translation, editing, illustrations, permissions, design, manufacturing, and special marketing Program and operating grants provide multi-year support for translations and the planning and launch of strategic book and book marketing initiatives Endowment Funds support MVP programs in perpetuity Levels of support and donations at MVP are: Catalysts ($25,000+) Patrons ($10,000-$24,999) Partners ($5,000-$9,999) Friends ($1,000-$4,999) Associates ($500-$999) Participants ($25-$499) For more information, contact either Irene Vilar or Robert Mandel at: [email protected][email protected] 18 | MVP Catalog
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MANDEL VILAR PRESS 501 (c) (3)
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Irene Vilar Dr. Robert Mandel Doug Unger Daniel Grandbois Toti Cadavid Dena Mandel Mirta Ojito Keirstin Beck Tim Z. Hernandez So Young Lee
Harold Augenbraum, Director of National Book Foundation Junot Díaz, Author Bonny Fetterman, Jewish Studies Editor and Literary Agent Alan Lelchuk, Novelist, Steerforth Press and Dartmouth College Henry Feingold, CUNY Graduate Center Rigoberto Gonzalez, Author & Professor (Rutgers University) Edith Grossman, Translator Jorge Iber, Associate Dean & Historian (Texas Tech University) Naomi Lindstrom, Professor (University of Texas) Adriana V. Lopez, Author & Reporter (New York Times) Mirta Ojito, Author & Prof., Columbia University Chad W. Post, Publisher, Open Letter Gregory Rabassa, Translator & Prof. (Queens College) Luis J. Rodriguez, Author Thane Rosenbaum, Novelist and Senior Fellow at NYU School of Law Margaret Sayers Peden, Translator Doug Unger, Author & Professor (UNLV) Steve Stern, Writer-in-Residence, Skidmore College
Robert Mandel, Co Founder, Publisher Irene Vilar, Co Founder, Associate Publisher Dena Mandel, Editorial Director Barbara Werden, Production Manager Armando Gonzalez, Creatives Director Lauren Sweeney, Marketing and Sales Assistant Mary Beth Hinton, Manuscript and Production Editor Linda Kaplan, Foreign Rights Manager Martin Castorena, Book Fair Intern