Citizen: An American Lyric (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Citizen is a completely necessary and remarkable read. It documents racial aggressions from the smallest remarks that propogate systemic racism to the constant racism Serena Williams faces, to the killing of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown. She does this with elegance but also with rage and resignation. A must-read in today's world.

— From Courtney

Part poetry, part essay, part art book- Citizen is a synthesis of so many things that it is hard to adequately describe. You don't need my persuasion to read this book- the awards and conversation around it are probably enough to convince you. But if there were one small thing I would add to that discussion, it is that this book is as purely needed as it was when it was published a few years ago. Racism persists and has been embraced by swaths of the country in increasingly visible ways. Citizen is a great entry point for understanding the social and sociological conditioning involved in racist behavior. That, and it's a hell of a read. — From James


* Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry *
* Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry * Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism * Winner of the NAACP Image Award * Winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize * Winner of the PEN Open Book Award *

The New Yorker, Boston Globe, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, NPR. Los Angeles Times, Publishers Weekly, Slate, Time Out New York, Vulture, Refinery 29, and many more . . .

A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine's long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking book Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric.

Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named "post-race" society.

About the Author

Claudia Rankine is the author of four previous books, including Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric. She currently is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches at Pomona College.

Praise For…

Praise for Don’t Let Me Be Lonely
Don’t Let Me Be Lonely records or annotates separate discrete episodes of consciousness; these accumulate, in this extraordinary book, into what seems less a sequence than a set of overlapping patterns. In place of smug moral judgments, Rankine contrives a mosaic of intimate vignettes and tense hypotheses; the whole has a complexity and density that makes it, I believe, the most devastating and convincing political poetry written by an American within memory . . . She has made of her savage and stern intelligence, her ruthlessness and her terror, great art. She has made poetry an astonishment again. All of us who write are most profoundly in her debt, as all who read will be in her power.” —Louise Glück, American Poet

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781555976903
ISBN-10: 1555976905
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: October 7th, 2014
Pages: 169
Language: English