Graywolf Acquires Just Us By Claudia Rankine

March 26, 2019

Graywolf Press is proud to announce the acquisition of a new book by MacArthur Genius and Citizen author Claudia Rankine: Just Us: An American Conversation. This is a historic acquisition in more ways than one for Graywolf, as we celebrate our 45th anniversary this year. Just Us is Rankine’s fourth with Graywolf after Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (2004), the New York Times bestselling Citizen: An American Lyric (2014), of which we’ve shipped more than 300,000 copies to date, and The White Card, Rankine’s first published play, which went on sale March 19, 2019.

Revelatory, funny, and ingeniously written, the essays in Just Us take place in transitionary spaces—on airplanes, at a diversity training session, in a therapist’s office, at a dinner party, after a play, on the internet—where presumed neutrality gives way to American culture’s overwhelming whiteness. Rankine questions what it means in these spaces to interrogate white privilege, well-meaning liberal politics, white male aggression, the implications of blondness, white supremacy in the White House, the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, and the alarming move toward Brexit. A timely book and a brilliant interplay between text and visuals, Just Us is about intimacy and friendship, and brings us into a necessary conversation about what we don’t know. As Rankine says, “It’s all right to not know; it’s what you do with your not-knowing.” The book will publish in September 2020.

Claudia Rankine is the author of Citizen: An American Lyric and four previous books, including Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric. Her work has appeared recently in the Guardian, the New York Times Book Review, the New York Times Magazine, and the Washington Post. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, the winner of the 2014 Jackson Poetry Prize, and a contributing editor of Poets & Writers. She received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2016. Rankine is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University.