Just Us: An American Conversation

Just Us: An American Conversation

by Claudia Rankine
Just Us: An American Conversation

Just Us: An American Conversation

by Claudia Rankine


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Notes From Your Bookseller

Claudia Rankine’s Just Us: An American Conversation is an incredibly accessible work. It combines her poetry and essays that lend itself to dialogue while reading the book AND after reading the book. Through photographs, illustrations and side-by-side page notes, we can consider the weight of the subject matter. The intimacy and personal recollections of Rankine’s writing will open your eyes to the world around you. It’s a deft gesture that only a poet and scholar of Rankine’s ability could pull off.


Claudia Rankine’s Citizen changed the conversation—Just Us urges all of us into it

As everyday white supremacy becomes increasingly vocalized with no clear answers at hand, how best might we approach one another? Claudia Rankine, without telling us what to do, urges us to begin the discussions that might open pathways through this divisive and stuck moment in American history.

Just Us is an invitation to discover what it takes to stay in the room together, even and especially in breaching the silence, guilt, and violence that follow direct addresses of whiteness. Rankine’s questions disrupt the false comfort of our culture’s liminal and private spaces—the airport, the theater, the dinner party, the voting booth—where neutrality and politeness live on the surface of differing commitments, beliefs, and prejudices as our public and private lives intersect.

This brilliant arrangement of essays, poems, and images includes the voices and rebuttals of others: white men in first class responding to, and with, their white male privilege; a friend’s explanation of her infuriating behavior at a play; and women confronting the political currency of dying their hair blond, all running alongside fact-checked notes and commentary that complements Rankine’s own text, complicating notions of authority and who gets the last word.

Sometimes wry, often vulnerable, and always prescient, Just Us is Rankine’s most intimate work, less interested in being right than in being true, being together.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781644450215
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication date: 09/08/2020
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,051,298
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Claudia Rankine is a poet, essayist, and playwright. Just Us completes her groundbreaking trilogy, following Don’t Let Me Be Lonely and Citizen. She is a MacArthur Fellow and teaches at Yale University.

Table of Contents

What if 3

Liminal spaces i 13

Evolution 57

Lemonade 71

Outstretched 85

Daughter 91

Notes on the state of whiteness 107

Tiki torches 119

Study on white male privilege 135

Tall 143

Social contract 147

Violent 159

Sound and fury 177

Big little lies 183

Ethical loneliness 193

Liminal spaces ii 217

José martí 231

Boys will be boys 255

Complicit freedoms 267

Whitening 307

Liminal spaces iii 317

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