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Alessandra Lusardi

Alessandra Lusardi - Editor

Brooklyn, NY, United States

Editor with 15+ years' experience in NY book publishing, committed to developing an author's voice and maximizing their book's potential.

Overview

I'm an editor with more than 15 years' experience in trade book publishing, specializing in nonfiction. During my time at Viking Penguin and Rizzoli, the venerated illustrated publisher, I acquired and published bestselling and award-winning titles across a variety of categories. As an independent editor, I am thrilled to get back to doing more of the collaborative developmental work with writers that I had less and less time for as an acquiring editor at a big publishing house.
My reading tastes are broad in both fiction and nonfiction, but when it comes to editing, I am particularly excited about working on memoir, narrative journalism, cultural histories (especially when they are told through ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances), popular science, music, food and travel writing... Basically, if you have an interesting story and a great narrative voice with which to tell it, I am in.
Whether you are looking to put together a proposal to submit to agents, polish up a manuscript for self-publishing, or find an outside collaborator to help you meet your publisher's deadlines, I will work closely with you to dig in and find what is most compelling about your book, and build on those strengths to make your work the best it can be.

Services
Languages
English (UK) English (US) Italian to English
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Business & Management Cooking & Food Wine & Spirits Entertainment History Life Sciences Music Nature Parenting & Families Psychology Social & Behavioral Sciences Travel

Work experience

Senior Editor, Rizzoli Ex Libris

Rizzoli International Publications

October, 2011 – July, 2014 (almost 3 years)

As the principal editor for Rizzoli's non-illustrated nonfiction line, Rizzoli Ex Libris, I acquired, project-managed and edited about 10 titles per year, about half of them in translation from Italian and French. Highlights included The Book of Legendary Lands by Umberto Eco; The Consolations of the Forest by Sylvain Tesson (named a Best Book of the Year by The Economist and The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and winner of the Dolman Prize for Translation); and The Gardener of Versailles by Alain Baraton.

Editor

Viking Penguin

February, 2002 – September, 2011 (over 9 years)

I began in 2002 as the Assistant to the President of Viking and Plume, and rose in the Editorial department to the role of Editor in 2008. At Viking I acquired and/or edited Restaurant Man by Joe Bastianich (NYT Bestseller), The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal (NYT Bestseller), My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor (NYT Bestseller), The Girls of Murder City by Douglas Perry, The Story of Earth by Robert Hazen, Reading in the Brain by Stanislas Dehaene (Washington Post Best Science Book of the Year), The Fatal Strain by Alan Sipress (Washington Post Best Science Book of the Year), and Death From the Skies!: The Science Behind the End of the World by Phil Plait.

Portfolio (18 selected works)

The Barbarians: An Essay On the Mutation of Culture

Alessandro Baricco

From one of Italy's most respected literary voices, a manifesto on the state of global culture and how connectivity is changing the way we experience it. For the gatekeepers of traditional high culture, the rise of young ambitious outsiders has indeed seemed like nothing short of a barbarian invasion. In this concise and powerful manifesto, Alessandro Baricco explores a handful of realms that ... read more

From one of Italy's most respected literary voices, a manifesto on the state of global culture and how connectivity is changing the way we experience it. For the gatekeepers of traditional high culture, the rise of young ambitious outsiders has indeed seemed like nothing short of a barbarian invasion. In this concise and powerful manifesto, Alessandro Baricco explores a handful of realms that ... read more

Restaurant Man

Joe Bastianich

“The best, funniest, most revealing inside look at the restaurant biz since Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.” —Jay McInerneyWith a new foreword by Mario BataliJoe Bastianich is unquestionably one of the most successful restaurateurs in America—if not the world. So how did a nice Italian boy from Queens turn his passion for food and wine into an empire? In Restaurant Man, Joe charts a r... read more

“The best, funniest, most revealing inside look at the restaurant biz since Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.” —Jay McInerneyWith a new foreword by Mario BataliJoe Bastianich is unquestionably one of the most successful restaurateurs in America—if not the world. So how did a nice Italian boy from Queens turn his passion for food and wine into an empire? In Restaurant Man, Joe charts a r... read more

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Impostor

Mark Seal

“Forget fiction. Pop this jaw-dropper in your beach bag.” —USA Today This shocking expose goes behind the headlines to uncover the true story of Clark Rockefeller, wealthy scion of a great American family, who kidnapped his own daughter and vanished. The police and FBI were baffled. Tips poured in, but every lead was a dead end … because “Clark Rockefeller” did not exist. In a gripping work of... read more

“Forget fiction. Pop this jaw-dropper in your beach bag.” —USA Today This shocking expose goes behind the headlines to uncover the true story of Clark Rockefeller, wealthy scion of a great American family, who kidnapped his own daughter and vanished. The police and FBI were baffled. Tips poured in, but every lead was a dead end … because “Clark Rockefeller” did not exist. In a gripping work of... read more

The Book of Legendary Lands

Umberto Eco

A fascinating illustrated tour of the fabled places in literature and folklore that have awed, troubled, and eluded us through the ages. From the epic poets of antiquity to contemporary writers of science fiction, from the authors of the Holy Scriptures to modern raconteurs of fairy tales, writers and storytellers through the ages have invented imaginary and mythical lands, projecting onto the... read more

A fascinating illustrated tour of the fabled places in literature and folklore that have awed, troubled, and eluded us through the ages. From the epic poets of antiquity to contemporary writers of science fiction, from the authors of the Holy Scriptures to modern raconteurs of fairy tales, writers and storytellers through the ages have invented imaginary and mythical lands, projecting onto the... read more

The Consolations of the Forest: Alone in a Cabin on the Siberian Taiga

Sylvain Tesson

A meditation on escaping the chaos of modern life and rediscovering the luxury of solitude. Winner of the Prix Médicis for nonfiction, The Consolations of the Forest is a Thoreau-esque quest to find solace, taken to the extreme. No stranger to inhospitable places, Sylvain Tesson exiles himself to a wooden cabin on Siberia’s Lake Baikal, a full day’s hike from any "neighbor," with his thoughts,... read more

A meditation on escaping the chaos of modern life and rediscovering the luxury of solitude. Winner of the Prix Médicis for nonfiction, The Consolations of the Forest is a Thoreau-esque quest to find solace, taken to the extreme. No stranger to inhospitable places, Sylvain Tesson exiles himself to a wooden cabin on Siberia’s Lake Baikal, a full day’s hike from any "neighbor," with his thoughts,... read more

Gardener of Versailles: My Life in the World's Grandest Garden

Alain Baraton

INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards -- 2014 FinalistFor gardening aficionados and Francophiles, a love letter to the Versailles Palace and grounds, from the man who knows them best. In Alain Baraton's Versailles, every grove tells a story. As the gardener-in-chief, Baraton lives on its grounds, and since 1982 he has devoted his life to the gardens, orchards, and fields that were loved by France's... read more

INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards -- 2014 FinalistFor gardening aficionados and Francophiles, a love letter to the Versailles Palace and grounds, from the man who knows them best. In Alain Baraton's Versailles, every grove tells a story. As the gardener-in-chief, Baraton lives on its grounds, and since 1982 he has devoted his life to the gardens, orchards, and fields that were loved by France's... read more

The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet

Robert M. Hazen

Hailed by The New York Times for writing “with wonderful clarity about science . . . that effortlessly teaches as it zips along,” nationally bestselling author Robert M. Hazen offers a radical new approach to Earth history in this intertwined tale of the planet’s living and nonliving spheres. With an astrobiologist’s imagination, a historian’s perspective, and a naturalist’s eye, Hazen calls u... read more

Hailed by The New York Times for writing “with wonderful clarity about science . . . that effortlessly teaches as it zips along,” nationally bestselling author Robert M. Hazen offers a radical new approach to Earth history in this intertwined tale of the planet’s living and nonliving spheres. With an astrobiologist’s imagination, a historian’s perspective, and a naturalist’s eye, Hazen calls u... read more

The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers Who Inspired Chicago

Douglas Perry

With a thrilling, fast-paced narrative, award-winning journalist Douglas Perry vividly captures the sensationalized circus atmosphere that gave rise to the concept of the celebrity criminal- and gave Chicago its most famous story. The Girls of Murder City recounts two scandalous, sex-fueled murder cases and how an intrepid "girl reporter" named Maurine Watkins turned the beautiful, media-savvy... read more

With a thrilling, fast-paced narrative, award-winning journalist Douglas Perry vividly captures the sensationalized circus atmosphere that gave rise to the concept of the celebrity criminal- and gave Chicago its most famous story. The Girls of Murder City recounts two scandalous, sex-fueled murder cases and how an intrepid "girl reporter" named Maurine Watkins turned the beautiful, media-savvy... read more

Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life

Lisa Chaney

The controversial story of Chanel, the twentieth century's foremost fashion icon. Revolutionizing women's dress, Gabrielle "Coco'' Chanel was the twentieth century's most influential designer. Her extraordinary and unconventional journey-from abject poverty to a new kind of glamour- helped forge the idea of modern woman.Unearthing an astonishing life, this remarkable biography shows how, more ... read more

The controversial story of Chanel, the twentieth century's foremost fashion icon. Revolutionizing women's dress, Gabrielle "Coco'' Chanel was the twentieth century's most influential designer. Her extraordinary and unconventional journey-from abject poverty to a new kind of glamour- helped forge the idea of modern woman.Unearthing an astonishing life, this remarkable biography shows how, more ... read more

Reading in the Brain: The New Science of How We Read

Stanislas Dehaene

"Brings together the cognitive, the cultural, and the neurological in an elegant, compelling narrative. A revelatory work." -Oliver Sacks, M.D. The act of reading is so easily taken for granted that we forget what an astounding feat it is. How can a few black marks on white paper evoke an entire universe of meanings? It's even more amazing when we consider that we read using a primate brain th... read more

"Brings together the cognitive, the cultural, and the neurological in an elegant, compelling narrative. A revelatory work." -Oliver Sacks, M.D. The act of reading is so easily taken for granted that we forget what an astounding feat it is. How can a few black marks on white paper evoke an entire universe of meanings? It's even more amazing when we consider that we read using a primate brain th... read more

The Fatal Strain: On the Trail of Avian Flu and the Coming Pandemic

Alan Sipress

In 2009, Swine Flu reminded us that pandemics still happen, and award- winning journalist Alan Sipress reminds us that far worse could be brewing. When a highly lethal strain of avian flu broke out in Asia in 2003 and raced westward, Sipress, as a reporter for The Washington Post, tracked the virus across nine countries, watching its secrets elude the world's brightest scientists and most intr... read more

In 2009, Swine Flu reminded us that pandemics still happen, and award- winning journalist Alan Sipress reminds us that far worse could be brewing. When a highly lethal strain of avian flu broke out in Asia in 2003 and raced westward, Sipress, as a reporter for The Washington Post, tracked the virus across nine countries, watching its secrets elude the world's brightest scientists and most intr... read more

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey

Jill Bolte Taylor

The astonishing New York Times bestseller that chronicles how a brain scientist's own stroke led to enlightenment On December 10, 1996, Jill Bolte Taylor, a thirty-seven- year-old Harvard-trained brain scientist experienced a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. As she observed her mind deteriorate to the point that she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her lif... read more

The astonishing New York Times bestseller that chronicles how a brain scientist's own stroke led to enlightenment On December 10, 1996, Jill Bolte Taylor, a thirty-seven- year-old Harvard-trained brain scientist experienced a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. As she observed her mind deteriorate to the point that she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her lif... read more

Death from the Skies!: The Science Behind the End of the World

Philip Plait Ph.D.

With wit, humor, and an infectious love of astronomy that could win over even the science-phobic, this fun and fascinating book reminds us that outer space is anything but remote. The scientist behind the popular website badastronomy.com, Philip Plait presents some of the most fearsome end-of-the-world calamities (for instance, incoming asteroids and planet-swallowing black holes), demystifies... read more

With wit, humor, and an infectious love of astronomy that could win over even the science-phobic, this fun and fascinating book reminds us that outer space is anything but remote. The scientist behind the popular website badastronomy.com, Philip Plait presents some of the most fearsome end-of-the-world calamities (for instance, incoming asteroids and planet-swallowing black holes), demystifies... read more

Brother One Cell

Cullen Thomas

Cullen Thomas was just like the thousands of other American kids who travel abroad after college. He was hungry for meaning and excitement beyond a nine-to-five routine, so he set off for Seoul, South Korea, to teach English and look for adventure. What he got was a three-and-a- half-year drug-crime sentence in South Korea's prisons, where the physical toll of life in a cell was coupled with t... read more

Cullen Thomas was just like the thousands of other American kids who travel abroad after college. He was hungry for meaning and excitement beyond a nine-to-five routine, so he set off for Seoul, South Korea, to teach English and look for adventure. What he got was a three-and-a- half-year drug-crime sentence in South Korea's prisons, where the physical toll of life in a cell was coupled with t... read more

A Place Called Canterbury: Tales of the New Old Age in America

Dudley Clendinen

An "affectionate, touchingly empathetic" (Janet Maslin, The New York Times) look at old age in America today Welcome to Canterbury Tower , an apartment building in Florida, where the residents are busy with friendships, love, sex, money, and gossip-and the average age is eightysix. Journalist Dudley Clendinen's mother moved to Canterbury in 1994, planning-like most the inhabitants-to spend her... read more

An "affectionate, touchingly empathetic" (Janet Maslin, The New York Times) look at old age in America today Welcome to Canterbury Tower , an apartment building in Florida, where the residents are busy with friendships, love, sex, money, and gossip-and the average age is eightysix. Journalist Dudley Clendinen's mother moved to Canterbury in 1994, planning-like most the inhabitants-to spend her... read more

The Fault Line: Traveling the Other Europe, From Finland to Ukraine

Paolo Rumiz

An award-winning writer travels the eastern front of Europe, where the push/pull between old empires and new possibilities has never been more evident. Paolo Rumiz traces the path that has twice cut Europe in two—first by the Iron Curtain and then by the artificial scaffolding of the EU—moving through vibrant cities and abandoned villages, some places still gloomy under the ghost of these impo... read more

An award-winning writer travels the eastern front of Europe, where the push/pull between old empires and new possibilities has never been more evident. Paolo Rumiz traces the path that has twice cut Europe in two—first by the Iron Curtain and then by the artificial scaffolding of the EU—moving through vibrant cities and abandoned villages, some places still gloomy under the ghost of these impo... read more

The Hills of Chianti: The Story of a Tuscan Winemaking Family, in Seven Bottles

Piero Antinori

The head of Italy’s "first family" of winemaking reflects on the Antinoris’ six-hundred-year legacy and a life of good food and drink in the hills of Tuscany. If you know wine, you know the name Antinori. Since 1385, this noble Florentine family has produced some of Italy’s finest wines. The Hills of Chianti tells the story of the Antinoris and the Tuscany they call home, through seven iconic ... read more

The head of Italy’s "first family" of winemaking reflects on the Antinoris’ six-hundred-year legacy and a life of good food and drink in the hills of Tuscany. If you know wine, you know the name Antinori. Since 1385, this noble Florentine family has produced some of Italy’s finest wines. The Hills of Chianti tells the story of the Antinoris and the Tuscany they call home, through seven iconic ... read more

The Glass of Fashion: A Personal History of Fifty Years of Changing Tastes and the People Who Have Inspired Them

Cecil Beaton

Gorgeously repackaged, this reissue of the classic book presents the iconic photographer’s expert and witty reminiscences of the personalities who inspired fashion’s golden eras, and left an indelible mark on his own sense of taste and style. "The camera will never be invented that could capture or encompass all that he actually sees," Truman Capote once said of Cecil Beaton. Though known for ... read more

Gorgeously repackaged, this reissue of the classic book presents the iconic photographer’s expert and witty reminiscences of the personalities who inspired fashion’s golden eras, and left an indelible mark on his own sense of taste and style. "The camera will never be invented that could capture or encompass all that he actually sees," Truman Capote once said of Cecil Beaton. Though known for ... read more

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