J.C. Hallman grew up in Southern California. He studied creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh, the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Hallman’s nonfiction combines memoir, history, journalism, and travelogue, and has been compared to Alain de Botton and Bruce Chatwin. His first book, The Chess Artist, tells the story of Hallman’s friendship with chess player Glenn Umstead. His second, The Devil is a Gentleman, is an intellectual apprenticeship with philosopher William James. In Utopia explores the history of utopian thought and literature in the context of visits to six modern utopias in various stages of realization, and Wm & H’ry examines the copious correspondence of William and Henry James. Next year, he will publish B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal with Simon & Schuster.
Hallman has also edited two anthologies, The Story About the Story and The Story About the Story II, which propose a new school of literary response — “creative criticism.”
Hallman has taught at a number of colleges and universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, Bennington College, and Oklahoma State University. Among other honors, he is the recipient of a 2013 Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.