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.
Finalist for the 2014 National Book Award in Poetry
Winner of the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry
Finalist for the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism
Winner of the 2015 PEN Open Book Award
Winner of the 2015 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry
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.
Paperback, 160 pages
5.5 x 7.9 inches
Graywolf Press, 2014