Citizen

An American Lyric
Narrated by: Allyson Johnson
Length: 1 hr and 37 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (453 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Claudia Rankine's bold new audiobook recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in 21st-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 cumulative 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.

©2014 Claudia Rankine (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Combining poetry, essay, and images from media and contemporary art, Rankine's poetics capture the urgency of her subject matter." ( Publishers Weekly)

More from the same

What members say
Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    334
  • 4 Stars
    79
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    6
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    283
  • 4 Stars
    66
  • 3 Stars
    35
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    7
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    292
  • 4 Stars
    67
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Important Work But Audio Is Missing a Lot

Citizen is an important work, sadly more relevant with every passing day. The audio book is well produced and the reader is exceptionally skilled.

However, Rankine's book includes photos and art work that are not mere illustrations but integral parts of the whole. The same is true of the layout of the book with lots of blank pages and empty space. (To give the reader time to rest and absorb, Rankine has stated.)

For these reasons, the audio book should be considered a companion to the print edition, not a substitute for it.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Powerfully moving all round.

Reading poetry is often a private experience, the voice we hear is our own; but Johnson nails it. Her performance conveys Rankine's subtle use of language and powerful cultural critique. I loved the section on Serena Williams which made me want to scream, laugh and cry all at once.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So. Important.

Listening to this made me angry and uncomfortable, perhaps because, as a white person, it's easy for me to elect to see or acknowledge racism, and this book puts you (literally by use of the second person) at the center of it, as the victim, the witness, the occasional perpetrator. You can't ignore it. To make the reader feel even a fraction of what people of color feel on a daily basis is such a huge accomplishment. Beautiful work.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars

Robotic Voice, but a good book.

Narrator's voice sounded robotic. I found myself tuning out because of the robotic voice. I might have to get a hard copy and read it myself.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Wonderful Book

Frankly, I don't see this as poetry but it's still a wonderful book. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just getting along shouldn't be an ambition

This epic poem often had me leaning forward to find out what would happen next, even when — especially when — Rankine is narrating a tennis match she’s watching on TV. The general “poetic” parts about feelings/sensings were not particularly compelling but they acted as a respite from the racial parts, which fill you with rage. “because white men can’t/ police their imagination/ black men are dying.” And “Hold up, did you just hear, did you just say, did you just see, did you just do that? Then the voice in your head silently tells you to take your foot off your throat because just getting along shouldn’t be an ambition.” Grade: A

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KC
  • 11-19-16

Beautiful Tragedy

Gorgeous and succinct prose tell the story we already knew but never hear. It is heartbreakingly strong. the only difficulty a reader or listener will encounter is their discomfort with themselves or the world around them. We should be uncomfortable more often.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

critical poetry

highly recommend for someone who wants to keep understanding race based experiences and interactions. thought provoking.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

“It wasn’t a match, it was a lesson.”

Wow! Rankine’s writing style is perfect for this book. It’s like a stream of consciousness of the Black “professional’s” experience in America. A constant bombardment of racial slights and overt racism that leaves you exhausted, confused and ultimately emotionless.

I can’t say enough about this book other than buy it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a beautiful and touching book

Oh, this book! Touching and so beautifully written! I listened to Citizen on audio - and read (listened to) it twice. It's amazing what you hear when you really listen. A must read! "Perhaps the most insidious and least understood form of racism is that of the word."

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Natasha
  • Natasha
  • 01-18-19

Citizen an American Lyric

Already ready to read it again 10/10. I would highly recommend this book about race.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for T A D'souza
  • T A D'souza
  • 11-11-16

absolutely amazing.

Rankine has a way with words. a way to make sense of the world we live in as people of colour. an eloquent portrayal of life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for E. Garcia
  • E. Garcia
  • 03-16-16

Clear perspective of how black people are treated!

Took me to get in touch with my feelings buried deep inside.
Where I never seen double standards it is now clear that there are. this is a rollercoster of emotions.
The poem related to Serena Williams 2as the one I loved the most, and how she managed to pull it off by being the best she can be, taking no crap from no one.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cholena
  • Cholena
  • 07-30-17

Beautifully executed and sometimes difficult to face

I listened to this in one sitting, finding it both poetic and heartbreaking.

This book reminds me of my white privilege and gives me hope that I'll continue to be part of the solution and not the problem.

Thank you Claudia Rankine