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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.
About the Author: Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman has "performed" on PBS, QVC, and at concert halls worldwide. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Lenny Letter, 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 teaches creative writing at Northern Kentucky University and lives in Newport, Kentucky.
A Note From the Publisher
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"As the author connects the dots among American gullibility over fake weapons of mass destruction, chain restaurants offering faux authenticity, and her own psychological breakdown, the emotional honesty of her narrative permits no doubt.... Like the most discerning members of the audiences for whom Hindman played, readers may be left wondering what's really real—and how it matters. A tricky, unnerving, consistently fascinating memoir." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“It’s difficult to write a funny, angry book. It’s even harder to write a merciless, empathetic book. But here comes Jessica 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, co-author of The Disaster Artist and author of Apostle
“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 From Here to Eternity and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes