James Tate Hill

Author of Blind Man's Bluff and Academy Gothic

BOOKS

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Blind Man's Bluff

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Academy Gothic

 
 

ABOUT BLIND MAN'S BLUFF

on sale now from W. W. Norton

Blind Man's Bluff is a writer’s humorous and often-heartbreaking tale of losing his sight—and how he hid it from the world.
 

At age sixteen, James Tate Hill was diagnosed with Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy, a condition that left him legally blind. When high-school friends stopped calling and a disability counselor advised him to aim for C’s in his classes, he tried to escape the stigma by pretending he could still see.

In this unfailingly candid yet humorous memoir, Hill discloses the tricks he employed to pass for sighted, from displaying shelves of paperbacks he read on tape to arriving early on first dates so women would have to find him. He risked his life every time he crossed a street, doing his best to listen for approaching cars. A good memory and pop culture obsessions like Tom Cruise, Prince, and all things 1980s allowed him to steer conversations toward common experiences.

For fifteen years, Hill hid his blindness from friends, colleagues, and lovers, even convincing himself that if he stared long enough, his blurry peripheral vision would bring the world into focus. At thirty, faced with a stalled writing career, a crumbling marriage, and a growing fear of leaving his apartment, he began to wonder if there was a better way.

PRAISE FOR BLIND MAN'S BLUFF

A NEW YORK TIMES EDITOR'S CHOICE

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It’s been a long time since I met such a thoroughly normal guy in a memoir…I’d buy him a beer anytime.

— Dwight Garner, New York Times

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller, Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt, The Liars' Club by Mary Karr, Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou are among the memoirs that leave you breathless; they're books you keep and don't pawn off on your neighbor's yard sale. Now comes another keeper: Blind Man's Bluff by James Tate Hill.


― Kitty Kelley, Washington Independent Review of Books

Hill sketches these scenes in a spare, fuss-free way…[Y]ou root for him to hold on to the little bit of joy he's found―the colors in his life, for once, sharp and bright.


― Tommy Tomlinson, New York Times Book Review
 

Disarmingly honest and funny… An inspiring, often incredible story that reminds us of the strength that comes from vulnerability.


― Bookpage

Stirring…This moving account doesn't disappoint.


Publishers Weekly

A coming-of-age story worthy of its hero’s stellar VHS collection of ’80s and ’90s movies. Hill’s journey toward learning to live with his blindness will have you wincing, crying, sighing, and cheering right along with him—not to mention sharing in his love of Molly Ringwald, The Golden Girls, Prince, and Tom Cruise.

— Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, best-selling author of Seinfeldia

Told with humor and grace, Blind Man’s Bluff is a story of reinventions—ones both enormous and minute, ones both forced and earned. It’s also an education, and an illumination.

— Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer Prize finalist for
The Great Believers

Compelling and honest, James Tate Hill writes of the isolation, confusion, and longing for connection, which is what it means to be human. A gripping and unflinching journey of love, acceptance, and finding the courage to tell your own story.


— Alison Stine, author of Road Out of Winter

Reading Blind Man’s Bluff is like going out for coffee with your funniest friend. It’s also about which Golden Girl you’d most want your doctor to resemble, assuming that your doctor must resemble a Golden Girl. (The answer is Dorothy. Obviously.) It’s a smart, thoughtful, and hilarious book, and it will engage you from the first page to the last.

—Carolyn Parkhurst, best-selling author of Harmony

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Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. Hill’s narratives on disability, pop culture, and just getting through life are filled with heartbreak, humor, and hope.


— Beth (Bich Minh) Nguyen, author of Stealing Buddha’s Dinner

ABOUT JAMES TATE HILL

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James Tate Hill is the author of a memoir, Blind Man’s Bluff, released August 3, 2021 from W. W. Norton. His fiction debut, Academy Gothic, won the Nilsen Literary Prize for a First Novel. His essays were Notable in the 2019 and 2020 editions of Best American Essays. He serves as fiction editor for Monkeybicycle and contributing editor for Literary Hub, where he writes a monthly audiobooks column. Born in Charleston, WV, he lives in North Carolina with his wife.

 

EVENTS

  • At Home With Literati: James Tate Hill and M. Leona Godin
    At Home With Literati: James Tate Hill and M. Leona Godin
    Virtual Event
    Sep 07, 7:00 PM
    Virtual Event
    At Home with Literati Series in support of Blind Man's Bluff. He'll be joined in conversation by M. Leona Godin.
    Share
  • Truth or Dare: A Virtual Writer and Artist Event
    Truth or Dare: A Virtual Writer and Artist Event
    Virtual Event
    Sep 02, 7:00 PM EDT
    Virtual Event
    Through fiction, memoirs, and comics, authors/artists Diane Zinna (The All-Night Sun), James Tate Hill (Blind Man's Bluff), and Ali Solomon & Janine Annett (I Am "Why Do I Need Venmo?" Years Old) will speak about their new books and the theme of honesty in literature and life.
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  • James Tate Hill with the Greensboro Public Library
    James Tate Hill with the Greensboro Public Library
    Zoom
    Aug 24, 7:00 PM EDT
    Zoom
    The Greensboro Public Library will host an evening with award-winning Greensboro author James Tate Hill beginning at 7pm, Tuesday, August 24. This live online event will feature a discussion with James Tate Hill about his upcoming memoir, followed by a question and answer session.
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  • In Conversation: James Tate Hill & Travis Mulhauser
    In Conversation: James Tate Hill & Travis Mulhauser
    Virtual Event
    Aug 10, 6:00 PM
    Virtual Event
    Register now to join James Tate Hill and Travis Mulhauser for this virtual event with Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC.
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  • Book Launch: Reading & Signing at Scuppernong Books
    Book Launch: Reading & Signing at Scuppernong Books
    Scuppernong Books
    Aug 06, 7:00 PM
    Scuppernong Books, 304 S Elm St, Greensboro, NC 27401, USA
    Author James Tate Hill makes his debut appearance for the official book launch of Blind Man's Bluff at a book reading and signing event Friday, August 6 at 7:00pm at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro. Event is hybrid, both in-store and online (Zoom).
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  • Author & Agent: A Conversation with James Tate Hill & Eric Smith
    Author & Agent: A Conversation with James Tate Hill & Eric Smith
    Writing Workshops Virtual
    Aug 03, 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
    Writing Workshops Virtual
    Join James Tate Hill and his agent and fellow author Eric Smith for a publication-day discussion of his debut memoir, Blind Man’s Bluff (W. W. Norton).
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  • Lafayette Writing Workshops - Writing Trauma: Translating Life's Painful Experiences into Art
    Lafayette Writing Workshops - Writing Trauma: Translating Life's Painful Experiences into Art
    Zoom Online Class
    Jul 15, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
    Zoom Online Class
    Traumatic experiences can be the hardest to write about, but they are often our richest material. “To bring one’s self to others makes the whole planet less lonely,” writes Mary Karr in The Art of Memoir, but how do we translate pain into writing that might interest an audience beyond our therapist
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  • Writers Workshops - 8-Week Online Introduction to Fiction: Writing Short Stories
    Writers Workshops - 8-Week Online Introduction to Fiction: Writing Short Stories
    Online Workshop
    May 31, 12:00 AM – Jul 19, 12:00 AM
    Online Workshop
    Taught by James Tate Hill, contributing editor for Lit Hub, fiction editor for the literary journal Monkeybicycle, and author of Blind Man's Bluff (W.W. Norton, 2021), which includes his essay from Prairie Schooner listed among the Notables in Best American Essays 2020.
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  • Writers Workshops - 8-Week Nonfiction Workshop: Writing Memoir & Personal Essay for Publication
    Writers Workshops - 8-Week Nonfiction Workshop: Writing Memoir & Personal Essay for Publication
    Online Writing Workshop
    May 31, 12:00 AM – Jul 19, 12:00 AM
    Online Writing Workshop
    Taught by James Tate Hill, contributing editor for Lit Hub and author of the memoir Blind Man's Bluff (W.W. Norton, 2021), which includes his essay from Prairie Schooner listed among the Notables in Best American Essays 2020.
    Share
  • Greensboro Bound - In Conversation with Ginger Gaffney, author of Half Broke, moderated by Steve Mitchell
    Greensboro Bound - In Conversation with Ginger Gaffney, author of Half Broke, moderated by Steve Mitchell
    Greensboro Bound Conference Series
    May 16, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
    Greensboro Bound Conference Series
    Authors GINGER GAFFNEY and JAMES TATE (JT) HILL talk about the craft of writing memoir, sifting through your personal life, and facing your vulnerability on the page with host STEVE MITCHELL.
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CONTACT JAMES TATE HILL

For general inquiries, please contact literary agent Eric Smith: eric@psliterary.com

For inquiries concerning Blind Man's Bluff, please contact W. W. Norton publicist
Gabrielle Nugent: gnugent@wwnorton.com

For inquiries concerning Academy Gothic, please contact Dr. James Brubaker at
Southeast Missouri State University Press: upress@semo.edu

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