Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman is the author of Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir, which will be published by W.W. Norton in 2019. Her recent writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Brevity and Hippocampus. She teaches creative writing at Northern Kentucky University, where she recently won the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. In her spare time she enjoys cooking (Italian), dancing (Beyoncé), and dreaming up clever Halloween costumes (Large Hadron Particle Collider).

Sounds Like Titanic

When aspiring violinist Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman lands a job with a professional ensemble, 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 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.

With vulnerability, humor, and sharp insight into ambition and gender, Hindman tells a surreal coming-of-age story that perfectly articulates the anxieties and illusions of her generation. As Sounds Like Titanic swells to a crescendo, it gives voice to the failed promises of a nation that takes comfort in false realities.

Advance Praise for Sounds Like Titanic:

It's a Coen Brothers movie come to life

Sounds Like Titanic would be unbelievable as a novel, but as a memoir it is deliciously bizarre and utterly American. It's a Coen Brothers movie come to life---Ruby Tuesdays, QVC, and one woman working for years as a fake violinist for classical music's version of Thomas Kinkade. I couldn't put it down.

- Caitlin Doughty, bestselling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and From Here to Eternity

an insightful meditation on a time in our nation’s recent history whose strange and ominous influence grows more apparent by the day

It’s difficult to write a funny, angry book. It’s even harder to write a merciless, empathetic book. But here comes Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman, doing the impossible with a funny, angry, merciless, empathetic book that’s not only a hugely entertaining memoir, but an insightful meditation on a time in our nation’s recent history whose strange and ominous influence grows more apparent by the day.

- Tom Bissell, author of The Disaster Artist

epitomizes the baffling forms of bait and switch now hallmarks of the Millennial experience

Sounds Like Titanic epitomizes the baffling forms of bait and switch now hallmarks of the Millennial experience with astonishing clarity. In muscular, precise prose, Hindman renders her dead mic, her violin, her top-dollar tuition-paying eggs, her Appalachian mountain fog, and her feminism in a vital story that lands with heart. Hindman is an emissary for a generation, repurposing its sarcasm and irony in a nuanced, humorous, and intelligent look at what it means to construct and consume fake realities in post-9/11 America.

- Angela Palm, author of Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere But Here

this book is a bravura performance

Sounds Like Titanic has all the makings of a great story: a girl from West Virginia winds up in the Ivy League, touring the country as part of a fake orchestra to pay tuition. But this fantastic memoir is so much more than that: it’s an evocative portrait of America’s literal and figurative landscapes, an incisive look at class and gender, and an examination of what authenticity means. It’s also insightful and funny, ruthlessly smart, and thoroughly entertaining. Hindman is a wildly talented writer, and this book is a bravura performance.

- Justin St. Germain, author of Son of a Gun: A Memoir


Creative Nonfiction

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

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

“False Note.” - Rhapsody Magazine. (November, 2017). Print. Web.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Interviews & Book Reviews

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

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

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