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.
WHAT TO READ IF
EMERGING FORM PODCAST
A SQUARED PODCAST
W RADIO, BOGATÁ
BBC NEWS MUNDO
WFOD RADIO PROGRAM
VINYL ME, PLEASE MAGAZINE
COLUMBIA COLLEGE TODAY
O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE
THE AVID READER
Q, CBC RADIO
NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
RADIO NEW ZEALAND
THE WOVEN TALE PRESS
WVXU: CINCINNATI EDITION
NPR BOOK REVIEW
O: THE OPRAH MAGAZINE
ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION
NPR'S WEEKEND EDITION
GARDEN & GUN MAGAZINE
GOODREADS AUTHOR INTERVIEW
ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION
Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir. W.W. Norton, 2019.
“Advanced Placement.” Hippocampus Magazine. (November 2016).
“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.
“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.