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    About

JESSICA CHICCEHITTO HINDMAN

Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman (Chick-KET-toe HĪND-man) grew up in the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Her debut, Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir was named a “best book of 2019 ” by Amazon, described as “moving” by the New Yorker, “outrageously funny” by O, The Oprah Magazine, “fascinating,” by NPR, and “powerful” by VoxHer recent writing has appeared in McSweeney's Internet TendencyThe New York Times MagazineBrevity, and Hippocampus. She holds a BA in Middle Eastern studies and an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and a PhD in English from the University of North Texas. She is an Associate Professor of English at Northern Kentucky University where she recently won the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award and the Excellence in Research, Scholarship, & Creative Activity Award. She lives in Newport, Kentucky with her husband, the astronomer Nathan De Lee.  

 
 

 

    Sounds Like Titanic 

An Amazon "best book of 2019." 

Goodreads 2019 Reader's Choice Semi-Finalist

"Sardonic, moving."
- New Yorker

“[An] outrageously funny, shrewdly meta memoir."

O, The Oprah Magazine


"A memoir with bite. …[Hindman’s] fascinating personal story,

with its unexpected twists, puts the memorable into this memoir."

NPR

"Brave and captivating."

Los Angeles Review of Books

"[A] rich, powerful book."

Vox

"[A] clever illustration of navigating impostor syndrome and the gig economy."

- New York Times Book Review

"A timely, searing look at one of America's recent dips into the pool of post-truth."

- Colorado Sun

"Stunning...a spellbinding read."

-Apple Books

"Far-reaching, insightful, and unputdownable."

- Booklist

"Provocative...A tricky, unnerving, consistently fascinating memoir."

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

 
A YOUNG WOMAN LEAVES APPALACHIA FOR LIFE AS A CLASSICAL MUSICIAN—OR SO SHE THINKS.

 

When aspiring violinist Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman lands a job with a professional ensemble in New York City, she imagines she has achieved her lifelong dream. But the ensemble proves to be a sham. When the group “performs,” the microphones are never on. Instead, the music blares from a CD. The mastermind behind this scheme is a peculiar and mysterious figure known as The Composer, who is gaslighting his audiences with music that sounds suspiciously like the Titanic movie soundtrack.

 

On tour with his chaotic ensemble, Hindman spirals into crises of identity and disillusionment as she “plays” for audiences genuinely moved by the performance, unable to differentiate real from fake. Sounds Like Titanic is a surreal, often hilarious coming-of-age story. Hindman writes with precise, candid prose and sharp insight into ambition and gender, especially when it comes to the difficulties young women face in a world that views them as silly, shallow, and stupid. As the story swells to a crescendo, it gives voice to the anxieties and illusions of a generation of women, and reveals the failed promises of a nation that takes comfort in false realities.

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    Press
 

The Best Books of 2019

AMAZON

2019 Reader's Choice Semi-Finalists: Best Memoir & Autobiography

GOODREADS

From Fake Orchestra to Actual Book Touring

BOOKPAGE

The 25 Best Memoirs of 2019 (so far)

BOOKPAGE

Memoir Author Visits Campus

THE COLLEGIO

 

The Sound of (Faked) Music

COLUMBIA COLLEGE TODAY

True Memoir of a False Life

CHAPTER 16

Milli Violini

NKU MAGAZINE

A Different 2019 Summer Reading List

WASHINGTON POST

Best Books of 2019 So Far: Biographies & Memoirs

AMAZON

28 of the Best Beach Reads of 2019

O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE

Plus on est de fous, plus on lit! Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir lu par Daphné B. et Pierre Flynn

RADIO CANADA

Sounds Like Titanic

THE AVID READER

How Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman Discovered She Was a "Fake Violinist" and Her Dream Orchestra Was a Sham 

Q, CBC RADIO

Epic Experience

NORTH TEXAN

Briefly Noted 

NEW YORKER

Pretending to Play the Violin

NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman: Milli Vanilli on the violin

RADIO NEW ZEALAND

 

Today's Thing

COLORADO SUN

Review of Sounds Like Titanic

THE WOVEN TALE PRESS

'Sounds Like Titanic': What It's Like To Play In A Fake Orchestra

WVXU: CINCINNATI EDITION

10 Memoirs We Should All Be Reading in 2019

PARADE

This writer spent 4 years working as a fake violinist. Her memoir explains post-9/11 America

VOX

Listening to What's Real

SHELF AWARENESS

Fielding Fake Orchestras and Economic Hardships in ‘Sounds Like Titanic’

CITYBEAT

'Sounds Like Titanic': Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman’s real memoir about her turn as a fake violinist

FAILURE MAGAZINE

Both the Wound and the Healing: Talking With Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman

THE RUMPUS

Fake violinist on the massive lie that broke her

NEWS.COM/AU

Aspirations Come Up Against Economic Hardship in 'Sounds Like Titanic'

NPR BOOK REVIEW

10 New Books That'll Help You Maintain Bibliophile Status

O: THE OPRAH MAGAZINE

Fake violinist discovers true path

ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION

Best New Books To Read This Week

HELLOGIGGLES

10 new books Amazon's editors say are must-reads this February

BUSINESS INSIDER

Interview with Scott Simon

NPR'S WEEKEND EDITION

Top 10 Book for February 2019

AMAZON

 

Best Books of February 2019

APPLE BOOKS

 

Hottest New Releases for February 2019

GOODREADS

 

"What to Read in February"

GARDEN & GUN MAGAZINE

 

"Going Down With The Ship"

BOOKPAGE

 

"What To Read When Work is Stranger Than Fiction"

GOODREADS AUTHOR INTERVIEW

 

15 Books to Read in 2019

THE WEEK

 

The 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2019

HELLOGIGGLES

 

10 Southern Books We Want To Read in 2019

ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION

 

43 Highly Anticipated Books of 2019

GOODREADS

 
 

 

    Writing 
 

CREATIVE NONFICTION

     “Writers Recommend.” Poets & Writers. 28 Feb 2019.

     “How to Fake an Oscar-Nominated Musical Performance.” Medium. 22 Feb 2019. 

     “A Dream Job To Good to Be True, A Story Too Weird To Believe.” LitHub. 7 Feb 2019. 

     Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir.  W.W. Norton, 2019. 

     “Exponential.” McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. 2 Nov 2018. 

     “Milli Violini.” LennyLetter. 26 June 2018.

     “Letter of Recommendation: Vivaldi’s ‘Winter.’”  The New York Times Magazine. 25 Feb 2018.

     “False Note.” Rhapsody Magazine. (November 2017).

     “Advanced Placement.” Hippocampus Magazine. (November 2016). 

     “Seven Women Hold a Man’s Brain in Their Hands.”  Brevity. 49. (May 2015). 

     “West Virginia Tunnel Vision.” Dogwood: A Journal of Poetry and Prose. 12. (2013): 45-63. 

     “Solo Virtuoso.” O: The Oprah Magazine Apr. 2009: 40. 

     “Their Struggle Is Ours Too.” HAMSA Initiative. The American Islamic Congress, 11 Sept. 2007. 

     Cairo, Egypt.” Invisible Citizens: Youth Politics after September 11. Ed. Ganesh Sitaraman and Previn Warren. New York: IUniverse, Harvard College, 2003. 8-9. 

FICTION

     “Amelia and the Sauce.” Internationally Yours: Prize-Winning Stories. Columbia, MD: Joyous Pub., 2006. 43-47.

PEDAGOGY

     “Something to Write About: Experiential and Observational Learning in the Creative Nonfiction Workshop."  AWP's The Writer's Notebook.  September 2019. 

     “A Gun and a Book: Teaching Naguib Mahfouz’s The Thief and the Dogs in a Time of Revolution and Occupation.” Critical Pedagogy and Global Literature: Worldly Teaching. Ed. Masood Ashraf Raja. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 181-88.

 

INTERVIEWS & BOOK REVIEWS

     “Interview with Alicia Oltuski.” The American Literary Review Online. 12 May 2012.

     “Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans.” Book Review. The American Literary Review Online. 30 Sept. 2011,

     “Masters of the Typewriter, Doctors of the Whip.” Book Review of The Program Era by Mark McGurl. American Literary Review Online. 15 Nov. 2010.

 

 

     Upcoming Events

  LEXINGTON, KY: Thursday, November 14th, 2019, 5-7pm

Kentucky Book Festival and Book Fair: Cocktails & Conversation
Tickets and More Info

  LEXINGTON, KY: Saturday, November 16th, 2019

Kentucky Book Festival and Book Fair
 
 PAINTSVILLE, KY: Tuesday, March 3rd
Johnson County Library 
How to Write Your Memoir - Class Sessions at 1pm and 6pm
 JACKSONVILLE, IL: Thursday, April 16th
Visiting Writer: Illinois College 
 

 

    Contact

Book Publicist: Gabby Nugent

Literary Agent: Allison Devereux