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June 18, 2018 at 8:43 am

Alumni News | Book ’12 Rounds in Lo’s Gym’ Tells Story of Snyder’s Father

Todd Snyder, portrait

Todd Snyder, from his blog Hillbilly Speaks

The Wheeling News Register writes about a new book by Ohio University alum Todd Snyder in a story headlined “Snyder Sees Book as Metaphor For West Virginians’ Fighting Spirit.”

Snyder, Associate Professor of English at Siena College, earned a Ph.D. in English from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University in 2011.

WHEELING — Author Todd Snyder regards his new book, “12 Rounds in Lo’s Gym: Boxing and Manhood in Appalachia,” as a metaphor for West Virginians’ fighting spirit.

…Snyder’s book, which was published on March 1, tells the story of his father, Mike “Lo” Snyder, a fifth-generation West Virginia coal miner who operated a boxing gym for local youth….

Recalling the book’s origins, Snyder said he wrote 12 pages of short stories while working on his doctorate at Ohio University, but put the work aside for a few years. After starting his first job at Siena in 2011, he shared stories about his father with a colleague who encouraged him to write a book.

Becoming a father also inspired him to write “12 Rounds in Lo’s Gym.” He explained, “When I found out I was going to be a dad, it made me want to tell the story of my dad … My son lives in Albany. He doesn’t know the world I come from … He is able to read about his Appalachian roots. I want him to be a hard worker, like West Virginians.”

Read the entire story in the News Register.

  • Read Synder’s blog Hillbilly Speaks, where Synder describes himself at “Trailer Park Kid from Rural West Virginia. First-Generation College Student. College Professor. Reader. Writer. Husband. Daddy. Boxing Aficionado. Rappalachian. Coffee Junkie. Working-Class Scholar. Not in that particular order.”
  • Connect with Synder on LinkedIn.

Book cover for 12 Rounds in Lo’s Gym: Boxing and Manhood in Appalachia, shows close-up of hand holding heavy bagHis book, 12 Rounds in Lo’s Gym: Boxing and Manhood in Appalachia, was published by the West Virginia University Press.

“Questions of class and gender in Appalachia have, in the wake of the 2016 presidential election and the runaway success of Hillbilly Elegy, moved to the forefront of national conversations about politics and culture. From Todd Snyder, a first generation college student turned college professor, comes a passionate commentary on these themes in a family memoir set in West Virginia coal country,” reads the book summary on the WVU Press site.


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