Wrestliana is a complicated book, on the surface it is a biography of Toby Litt’s great-great-grandfather William Litt, but it is also an exploration of his relationship with his own father, his sons, and representations of masculinity.
I was lucky enough to receive this from Galley Beggar Press to read and I really appreciate the chance as Toby’s writing is clear and impelling.
William Litt was a champion Cumberland and Westmoreland Wrestling athlete and writer and this book follows his life around the wrestling circuit and further abroad.
It is the joining of these two modern day extremes, ‘Jock’ and ‘Nerd’ that Toby explores, both in William’s life and his own.
Positing that William’s era was possibly the beginning of separation of body and mind as distinct social personas, body and mind was commonly combined. But with the rise of educational specialism and professional sports they became irrevocably sundered.
A really great read written with understanding and passion.