Citizen: An American Lyric

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SKU:108010

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SKU:
108010

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By Claudia Rankine

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, seemingly 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.

Paperback, 160 pages

Dimensions: 5.5 x 8 x 0.5 inches

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

Awards:
Winner of the 2015 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Literary Award
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry
Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry
Winner of the 2015 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry
Winner of the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Collection
Winner of the 2015 PEN Open Book Award
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry
Winner of Poets and Writers' Jackson Poetry Prize

Reviews:
“Rankine brilliantly pushes poetry’s forms to disarm readers and circumvent our carefully constructed defense mechanisms against the hint of possibly being racist ourselves. . . . Citizen throws a Molotov cocktail at the notion that reduction of injustice is the same as freedom.” — The New York Times Book Review

"[Citizen] is an especially vital book for this moment in time. . . . The book explores the kinds of injustice that thrive when the illusion of justice is perfected, and the emotional costs for the artist who cries foul. . . . The realization at the end of this book sits heavily upon the heart: 'This is how you are a citizen,' Rankine writes. 'Come on. Let it go. Move on.' As Rankine's brilliant, disabusing work, always aware of its ironies, reminds  us, 'moving on' is not synonymous with 'leaving behind.'" — The New Yorker