Suzanne La Rosa is the publisher of NewSouth Books. She has worked in print publishing all her adult life.
In addition to a love of books, La Rosa has always enjoyed travel. An avid antique map collector, she has traveled widely starting in her teenage years from her New York City home. With family roots in Europe — her mother was French born, her father first-generation Italian — little did she consider that travel to Alabama in the late 1990s would have her living there for the better part of three decades. Still, she embraced the move as a chance to expand her personal and work horizons.
At NewSouth Books, which she cofounded in 2000, La Rosa has overseen the growth of a company publishing books on Southern history and culture and, in an expansive reading of its mission, works intended to foster understanding about our collective racial, ethnic, religious, and political identities. Having grown up in one of the most diverse cities of the world, she found in NewSouth a platform for her progressive values while also gaining an intensive education about the difficult history of her new home. With NewSouth now in its third decade, and with hundreds of published books behind her, La Rosa likes to say she has grown with her business.
Prior to her move to Alabama, La Rosa was a group publisher for four years at The Taunton Press, a large vertically organized company based in Newtown, Connecticut, where she ultimately ran two books and magazine divisions (sewing/crafts and gardening). She managed a staff of fifty, with the requisite bottom-line headaches. Still, she loved the work and the people she worked with.
In the years leading before Taunton, seeking more hands-on marketing experience and wishing to focus exclusively on the publishing side, La Rosa started a regional book publishing company serving the Hudson River Valley while still working a full-time magazine job in NYC. La Rosa has fond memories of weekly travel to the Catskills, where she enjoyed for the first time the thrill of personally packing book orders and calling on trade customers. La Rosa also put her editorial and acquisitions skills to full use growing a program that published many fine works of history, biography, and memoir, chiefly about the region located between NYC and the Adirondacks. Black Dome Press was founded 1989 and sold twenty years later, after La Rosa’s move to the South.
La Rosa balanced Black Dome Press with her full-time job at Old House Journal, where she worked for several years as editorial director for a magazine about the historic preservation of buildings and a related book business. Earlier in her career, La Rosa advanced quickly on the editorial side of several major women’s magazines, starting as a production editor at Good Housekeeping in the early 1980s before becoming managing editor of McCall’s and then executive editor at Women’s Day.
La Rosa lives in Montgomery, Alabama. She has one son, the joy of her life. She will always be a New Yorker.