I've been lucky to publish a number of books in translation from French and Italian, and consider the work of editing a translation to be just as intensive and collaborative as working with an author who is creating from scratch. Here's what a couple of translators have to say about the process:

“A few years ago Alessandra acquired a wonderful book for Rizzoli, Sylvain Tesson's riveting account of his six months living alone in a cabin by Lake Baikal in Siberia. His adventures ran the gamut from life to death, from bliss to despair, in writing that conveyed with exquisite fidelity every mood and thought recorded by this philosophical and sensitive man. The Guardian reported that in my 'fluent translation, the author comes across as the brainiest, daftest, sternest, funniest, most companionable hermit you'll ever meet.' This book beat out five noble finalists (including The Broken Road, by the inestimable Patrick Leigh Fermor) to win the 2014 Dolman Best Travel Book Award. Alessandra bet on a fabulous author (she has a great eye), chose a suitable translator for a challenging book, and provided the perfect combination of editorial understanding, deference, gentle bullying, and stalwart intramural support to ensure a successful translation. I sit on two translation juries and know all too well what dispiriting junk can be published when no one in a publishing house can intelligently judge the quality of an English translation from the French. They needed Alessandra Lusardi!

—Linda Coverdale


“I’ve had the good fortune to work with Alessandra Lusardi on 3 books so far. In each case my translations have been improved by her editing. Her proficiency in Italian and her intimate knowledge of the culture make Alessandra a reliable sounding board for translators. She is also extremely well organized, a good planner, and flexible when plans have to be changed. Another asset that she brings to her work is the determination to overcome difficulties that present themselves along the way. Finally, what makes Alessandra especially pleasant to work with is her willingness and ability to communicate: to let you know what she needs and expects from you as the editing and production process unfolds, and to respond in a timely and cooperative way to your needs and requests. In short, Alessandra helps to create and maintain the conditions that allow you to do your best work.

—Gregory Conti