Meet the Publishing Team at Astra House
Allessandra Bastagli




Alessandra has worked in publishing for 20 years, both as a book editor and as an online news editor, most recently as Editorial Director at Nation Books (now Bold Type) and Executive Editor at Dey Street. Over the years, she has worked with journalists including Even C. Hill, Azmat Khan, Jason Leopold, Alia Malek, Dani McClain, P. E. Moskowitz, and Gary Younge; academics, activists, and public thinkers like Juan Cole, Ibram X. Kendi, Darnell Moore, and Mychal Denzel Smith; and political figures such as Rep. Ilhan Omar, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Yanis Varoufakis. She is also the published translator, from the German, of Jurek Becker, and from the Italian, of Primo Levi. She is looking to acquire books in all categories (and books that defy categorization) that align with Astra House’s mission statement.

Olivia Dontsov




Olivia Dontsov is a native New Yorker and graduate of Vassar College. Previously, she has interned at The Clegg Agency, Emma Sweeney Agency, and Kweli Journal. She has a passion for authors who tell their stories authentically and unapologetically. Among her favorite authors are Jesmyn Ward, Yaa Gyasi, Ted Chiang, Liana Finck, Ariana Brown, and Wajdi Mouawad.




Deborah Ghim has worked as an associate literary scout at Maria B. Campbell Associates and in editorial at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where her authors included Christina Sharpe and Virginie Despentes. She has also worked with the novelist and critic Pankaj Mishra, the physician and activist Dr. Rupa Marya, the New York Times bestselling author and political economist Raj Patel, and the philosopher Lewis R. Gordon. She is looking to acquire intelligent and tender literary fiction from all over the world, as well as bold, paradigm-shifting nonfiction. In both, she cares quite a lot about the sound of words and prefers stories that challenge status quo ways of seeing and being. Deborah lives in Brooklyn.




Tiffany Gonzalez has worked in Production at HarperCollins and was the Publishing Operations Assistant here at Astra, supporting both Production and Managing Editorial. She has worked predominantly with Spanish language titles for Harper Español, Grupo/Vida and CLIE as well as translated works for HarperVia. She has a passion for LatinX stories but overall, stories that bring forth underrepresented voices.

Rona Harb, Astra Publishing House




Rola Harb is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University. She interned at the Arab Center Washington DC, Penguin Random House, Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agency, W.W. Norton & Co., and The New Press. With a focus on BIPOC writers, she enjoys reading contemporary fiction, narrative nonfiction, and Arabic and French literature, and wants to help bring more minority representation to the literary community.

Benjamin Schrank




Ben Schrank is Publisher of Astra House and COO of Astra Publishing House. Ben was previously President and Publisher at Henry Holt and Company, and prior to that, he was President and Publisher of Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House. At Razorbill, Ben published many award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling books, including the global phenomena An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Ben is the author of novels for adults and children, and has taught writing in the MFA program at Brooklyn College. Ben plans to acquire several works of fiction each year.

Rachael Small
Rachael Small
(she/her/hers) Publicity Director

Rachael Small is a literary translator and publicist originally hailing from Southern California. She previously directed publicity for Europa Editions, where she led campaigns for Elena Ferrante’s bestselling novels The Lying Life of Adults and The Story of the Lost Child (translated by Ann Goldstein), Mieko Kawakami’s breakout novel Breasts and Eggs (translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd), and many more. She has also edited translations of novels by Négar Djavadi, Canék Sanchez Guevara, Aura Xilonen, Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, and Christelle Dabos. Her translation of Abdellah Taïa’s short story collection, Another Morocco (Semiotext(e)) was named one of World Literature Today’s “75 Notable Translations of 2017.”

Jordan Snowden (she/her/hers) is a Pittsburgh transplant and previous music journalist. She has written for The Seattle TimesApartment Therapy, and Pittsburgh City Paper, among others. Jordan has a passion for Black-written stories and YA, and runs a thriving bookstagram account with over 10k followers.

Jeanette Tran is a graduate of Parsons School of Design and an immigrant from Vietnam. She interned and worked as a graphic designer at Rodrigo Corral studios and now resides in New York City. She has a strong interest in editorial and cover design. Her favorite authors are Osamu Dazai and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Daniel Vazquez has worked in editorial at MCD / FSG and HarperCollins and in publicity and marketing at The New Press. He has worked with the novelists Guy Gunaratne, Kawai Strong Washburn, Tim Maughan, and Héctor Tobar; the poet Roya Marsh; and the owner of the brand The Hundreds, Bobby Hundreds. He is focused on acquiring genre-bending literary fiction and narrative nonfiction representing strong, underrepresented voices and bold, progressive ideas.