Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman | W. W. Norton 2018
A young woman leaves Appalachia for a life as a classical musician in New York―or so she thinks.
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.