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Jack Hitt is an American author. He is a contributing editor to Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, and This American Life; he has also written for the now-defunct magazine Lingua Franca, and his work frequently appears in such publications as Outside Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Wired. In 1990, he received the Livingston Award for national coverage. More recently, a piece on the anthropology of white Indians[which?] was selected for Best American Science Writing,[when?] and another piece about dying languages[which?] appeared in Best American Travel Writing.[when?] Another piece, on the existential life of a superfund site, was included in Ira Glass's The New Kings of Nonfiction (2007).
Hitt was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, where he attended the Porter-Gaud School. He got his start in journalism as editor of the Paper Clip, the literary magazine of Porter-Gaud's first through fifth grades. According to his biography, he published "some of the finest haiku penned by well-off pre-teens in all of South Carolina's lowcountry".
Writing and journalism career
Since 1996, Hitt has also been a contributing editor to the radio series This American Life. He contributed a story about a production of Peter Pan in an episode entitled "Fiasco". Other pieces include "Dawn", about his life growing up with Dawn Langley Simmons (an early recipient of sex reassignment surgery), a 12-minute piece in episode 216 ("Give the People What They Want"), titled "How America Actually Got Its Name", an hour-long program on a group of prisoners in a maximum security prison staging a production of Hamlet (“Act V”, episode #218), a segment on voter fraud in the 2008 American Presidential election ("Cold-cock The Vote", #276), another episode about his life in a New York apartment building in which his superintendent turned out to be the head of a death squad in Brazil (“The Super”, #323), and more recently a segment on the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay called "Habeas Schmabeas" (#331). This last program earned him the Peabody Award in 2007.
Jack is currently performing in a one man show he wrote, called Making Up The Truth, about his childhood and the outlandish characters he's met in his life.
- Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character (2012) ISBN 0-307-39375-5
- In a Word: A Dictionary of Words That Don't Exist, But Ought To (1992) ISBN 0-440-50358-2
- Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route into Spain (1994)
- Perfect Murder: Five Great Mystery Writers Create the Perfect Crime (1991), by Jack Hitt (Author), Lawrence Block (Author), Sarah Caudwell (Author) & Tony Hillerman (Contributor) ISBN 978-0060163402
- What Are We Talking About?: The Harper's Forum Book (1991), by Jack Hitt (Author), Jack Hill (Author) & Lewis H. Lapman (Introduction) ISBN 978-0806512303
- "Livingston Awards – Past Winners". Livingston Awards. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- Zernike (June 7, 1991). "Winners Are Selected For Livingston Awards". The New York Times. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- The New Kings of Nonfiction (First ed.). Riverhead Books. 2007. ISBN 978-1594482670.
- "Give the People What They Want". This American Life.
- "Making Up The Truth". The Jack Hitt Play.
- Max, Jill (Spring 2008). "A doctor's passion for medical storytelling". Yale Medicine 42 (3). Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Hitt, Jack (1994). Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route into Spain.