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 finalist for The National Book Critics Circle Award, a “best book of 2019 ” by Amazon and Vox, described as “moving” by the New Yorker, “outrageously funny” by O, The Oprah Magazine, and “fascinating,” by NPR. Her recent writing has appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The New York Times Magazine, Brevity, 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 Fort Thomas, Kentucky with her husband, the astronomer Nathan De Lee, and their daughter.
Sounds Like Titanic
A National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.
An Amazon "best book of 2019."
A Vox best book of 2019.
A Goodreads 2019 Reader's Choice Semi-Finalist
- 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."
"Brave and captivating."
- Los Angeles Review of Books
"[A] rich, powerful book."
"[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."
"Far-reaching, insightful, and unputdownable."
"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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“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.
“Amelia and the Sauce.” Internationally Yours: Prize-Winning Stories. Columbia, MD: Joyous Pub., 2006. 43-47.
“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, & ARTICLES
“The Best Memoirs with an Unconventional Structure.” Shepherd. 30 May 2022.
“Writers Recommend.” Poets & Writers. 28 Feb 2019.
“How to Fake an Oscar-Nominated Musical Performance.” Medium. 22 Feb 2019.
“What to Read When Work is Stranger Than Fiction.” Goodreads. 31 Jan 2019.
“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.
✮ COVINGTON, KY: Books & Beliefs. Tuesday, April 11th, Trinity Episcopal Church.
✮ FRANKFORT, KY: Franklin County High School. Friday, April 21st.
Book Publicist (USA): Gabby Nugent
Book Publicist (UK & Europe): Emily Cary-elwes
Literary Agent: Allison Devereux
Film Rights: Will Watkins