Rachel Louise Snyder

RLS Author PhotoRachel Louise Snyder is a writer, professor and public radio commentator. Her first book “Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade” was published in 2007 by WW Norton. An excerpt of the book –aired on This American Life and won an Overseas Press Club Award. It was named a Best Business Book of the year by the Library Journal. Her second book, a novel set in Oak Park, Illinois and entitled “What We’ve Lost is Nothing” will be published in January, 2014 by Scribner; in July of 2013, she was named an “outstanding new voice in fiction” by the Library Journal. Recently, the novelist Andre Dubus III said of her work: “Snyder writes with the rigorous scrutiny of an investigative journalist and the deep and roving empathy of a natural-born novelist.”

Snyder’s print work has also appeared in the the New Yorker, New York Times magazine, Slate, Salon, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Men’s Journal, Jane, Travel and Leisure, the New Republic, Redbook and Glamour. She hosted the nationally-syndicated global affairs series “Latitudes” on public radio, and her stories have aired on “Marketplace” and “All Things Considered.” In 1998, the Dalai Lama told Snyder she was spoiled — which she fervently agrees with — right before giving her a strange and wonderful Tibetan coin. In 2000, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top traded her dental floss for the use of his gas can to drive across Cuba. In 2001, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys left her in his house mid-interview to go in search of chocolate mousse. In 2004, she ordered a “medium sized cow” to have a pair of leather chaps made in Cambodia for her Harley-riding best friend. Snyder has traveled to more than 50 countries and lived in London from 1999 – 2001 and in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from 2003 – 2009.

In the summer of 2009, she relocated to Washington, DC with her husband, Paul Burton — some JAWdesses might know him as Mr. Journalist Security (formerly of Centurion, currently of  Global Journalist Security)– along with her daughter, Jazz, and their scrappy Khmer street dog, Khmow (who is famous for once saving Jazz’s life in Phnom Penh). She was brought into JAWS in 2011 by Sarah Pollock, who immediately recognized the peculiar symptoms of a newly-transplanted woman in need of other awesome women. “There are an endless constellation of amazing things to say about JAWS, but chief among them is the unbridled support that filters through this vast population of women,” Snyder says. “It’s like walking around the world knowing that, secretly, there are a thousand cheerleaders behind you whispering, ‘Go for it, Girl. Go for it, Girl. Go for it, Girl!'”