Irene Vilar

Guggenheim Fellowship
Credits: www;

"Irene Vilar is a writer of extraordinary passion, erudition, and intelligence"---Tobias Wolff (on "The Ladies Gallery")

"This is another dark perfect gem from Irene Vilar."---Junot Diaz (on "Impossible Motherhood")

Irene Vilar founded The Americas book series published by the University of Wisconsin Press, now at Texas Tech University Press. The series has published over forty books in translation in the last ten years being among the most important initiatives of this kind in the US. Vilar worked as acquisitions editor for Women and Jewish studies at Syracuse University Press. Vilar is also the founder of The Americas for Conservation and the Arts 501©(3), the mother organization of The Americas Latino Eco-Festival of Boulder, Colorado launched in 2013 and the first nonprofit literary agency in the US, Vilar Creative Agency, dedicated to the dissemination of minority literatures of the Americas. Vilar Creative Agency is co-agent in the US for Ray-Gude Mertin Literary Agency, an agency specializing in Spanish, Latin American, and Portuguese authors, representing such notable writers as Nobel prize winner Jose Saramago. 

A 2010 Guggenheim Fellow Vilar is also a participant of the Oxford Union Debate Society. Vilar is a member of PEN, The Authors Guild, National Writers Union, and MLA.

Irene Vilar was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Her memoir The Ladies' Gallery (Other Press, 2009, originally published in 1996) was a Philadelphia Inquirer and Detroit Free Pressnotable book of the year and was short-listed for the 1999 Mind Book of the Year Award. The memoir was featured on NPR's Fresh Air, CBS, PBS, Vogue magazine, New York Times Magazine, and in the Arts' front page of The New York Times. Her latest memoir, Impossible Motherhood (Other Press, 2009), is being translated into many languages, and won the 2010 IPPYgold medal for best memoir/autobiography and the 12th Latino Book Award for best Women's Issues. Both memoirs explore generational and national trauma.

Specialties:"Stunning. A Lyrical and visionary memoir of depression, Puerto Rican identity, and young womanhood"--- 
Kirkus Review on "The Ladies' Gallery (starred)

"Startling, raw, and affecting, a painful exercise in which memoir as therapy becomes memoir as art"--- 
Philadelphia Inquirer Notable Book of the Year (by Carlin Romano)