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Don't Let Me Be Lonely

by

Don't Let Me Be Lonely Cover

ISBN13: 9781555974077
ISBN10: 1555974074
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

There are little televisions throughout Don't Let Me Be Lonely. Really. Little photographs of televisions, sometimes depicting widely broadcast images from the news, sometimes only static, are interspersed throughout this long prose poem. The images come as a slight shock at first — poetry arguably being the antithesis of television — but as Rankine's compelling narrative voice navigates the images, the sound bites, the advertisements, and the inevitable detritus, the televisions become symbols for us — we sad, solitary, lost individuals. It both is and isn't as heavy as it sounds: her primary themes are death and depression, but her observations are often fiercely wry. Honestly, I've never been interested in overtly political poetry, but Rankine has made this political poetry so gut-wrenchingly personal, so emotionally resonant — not to mention the brilliant formal execution — that I will never write off political poetry again.
Recommended by Alexis, Powells.com

It's difficult to say which genre best fits Claudia Rankine's explosive fourth book, Don't Let Me Be Lonely, so instead I'll say it is poem/essay/many-headed hydra. Narrated by a stricken, channel-surfing "I" and accompanied by images as disparate as video stills from Herzog's Fitzcarraldo as well as from the murder case of Amadou Diallo, it is also poem as evening news, and poem as Eisensteinian montage in which "each sequential element is perceived not next to the other, but on top of the other." These stacking worlds create the odd, mesmerizing gulf from which Rankine writes, one in which anxiety, grief, and footnote are the only constants. Challenging, startling, and moving, this project is one of the first that has actually spoken to me in its address of the sociopolitical, schizophrenic times in which we live.
Recommended by Jae, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this powerful sequence of TV images and essay, Claudia Rankine explores the personal and political unrest of our volatile new century

I forget things too. It makes me sad. Or it makes

me the saddest. The sadness is not really about

George W. or our American optimism; the

sadness lives in the recognition that a life can

not matter.

The award-winning poet Claudia Rankine, well known for her experimental multigenre writing, fuses the lyric, the essay, and the visual in this politically and morally fierce examination of solitude in the rapacious and media-driven assault on selfhood that is contemporary America. With wit and intelligence, Rankine strives toward an unprecedented clarity-of thought, imagination, and sentence-making-while arguing that recognition of others is the only salvation for ourselves, our art, and our government.

Don't Let Me Be Lonely is an important new confrontation with our culture, with a voice at its heart bewildered by its inadequacy in the face of race riots, terrorist attacks, medicated depression, and the antagonism of the television that won't leave us alone.

Claudia Rankine is the author of three previous collections of poetry: Nothing in Nature Is Private, The End of the Alphabet, and Plot. She is also the co-editor of American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language. Rankine teaches in the writing program at the University of Houston.

Finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize
 
Poet Claudia Rankine, widely celebrated for her experimental multi-genre writing, fuses the lyric poem, the essay, and the visual image in Don't Let Me Be Lonely. This is a politically and morally fierce examination of solitude in the rapacious and media-driven assault on selfhood that is contemporary America. With wit and intelligence, and with much heart, Rankine presents an extended self-conversation that always strives toward clarityof thought, of imaginationwhile also arguing that recognition of others is the only salvation for ourselves, our art, and our government.

Don't Let Me Be Lonely is an important new confrontation with our culture, delivered in a voice that is strong yet bewildered in the face of race riots, terrorist attacks, medicated depression, and the antagonism of the television that just won't leave us alone.

"Out of short prose segments with the gravity of poetry, avant-garde poet Rankine assembles a very direct and moving meditation on Americans and death. A friends cancer, accounts of Rankine's dreams, 9/11, documents about the African AIDS crisis, and many other elements flow together like the motifs in the slow movement of a Beethoven symphony."Utne Reader

"Don't Let Me Be Lonely is a success, possessing a clarity [whereby the author] has graced us not only with her presence, but the ability to make ourselves presentto separate our consciousness from the droning media that drowns out life's possibilities."The Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

"Claudia Rankine here manages an extraordinary melding of means to effect the most articulate and moving testament to the bleak times we live in I've yet seen. This is a master work in every sense, and altogether her own."Robert Creeley

Synopsis:

The award-winning poet Claudia Rankine, well known for her experimental multigenre writing, fuses the lyric, the essay, and the visual in this politically and morally fierce examination of solitude in the rapacious and media-driven assault on selfhood that is contemporary America. With wit and intelligence, Rankine strives toward an unprecedented clarity--of thought, imagination, and sentence-making--while arguing that recognition of others is the only salvation for ourselves, our art, and our government. Don't Let Me Be Lonely is an important new confrontation with our culture, with a voice at its heart bewildered by its inadequacy in the face of race riots, terrorist attacks, medicated depression, and the antagonism of the television that won't leave us alone.

Synopsis:

In this powerful sequence of TV images and essay, Claudia Rankine explores the personal and political unrest of our volatile new century

I forget things too. It makes me sad. Or it makes

me the saddest. The sadness is not really about

George W. or our American optimism; the

sadness lives in the recognition that a life can

not matter.

The award-winning poet Claudia Rankine, well known for her experimental multigenre writing, fuses the lyric, the essay, and the visual in this politically and morally fierce examination of solitude in the rapacious and media-driven assault on selfhood that is contemporary America. With wit and intelligence, Rankine strives toward an unprecedented clarity-of thought, imagination, and sentence-making-while arguing that recognition of others is the only salvation for ourselves, our art, and our government.

Don't Let Me Be Lonely is an important new confrontation with our culture, with a voice at its heart bewildered by its inadequacy in the face of race riots, terrorist attacks, medicated depression, and the antagonism of the television that won't leave us alone.

About the Author

Claudia Rankine is the author of three collections of poetry: Nothing in Nature Is Private, The End of the Alphabet, and Plot. She teaches at the University of Georgia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Ashley Watson, January 9, 2008 (view all comments by Ashley Watson)
An absolutely gorgeous book. Written in a lyrical prose that reinvents both poetry and memoir, Claudia Rankine's brilliance is evident in the first few lines of the book. Rankine writes from the dark side of the mental tracks, carefully chronicling America's ugliest and most tabooed truths, from clinical depression and rape to the false hope the media presents. But the fearless perspective of a poet's existential reality--her reality--does not leave the reader without hope. "The sadness," Rankine writes, "is not really about George W. or our American optimism; the sadness lives in the recognition that a life can not matter" (23). Genuine optimism is the recognition that we create our own realities, which is a refrain that pulses in the poet's unique rhythm throughout the book.

Rankine's ability to keep a metronomic pace with the repetition of the familiar image of a television screen filled with static, interchanged with eerie diagrams, personal photos, and real images from television, is astonishing. These images juxtaposed with her quiet lyrical voice create a breathless tone that is paradoxically calming. In this relatively short book, Rankine captures the essence of contemporary America through the threads connecting the modern media to our overwhelming and collective sadness. It is truly, "An American Lyric."

Stunning. You will not be disappointed.
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(12 of 18 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781555974077
Subtitle:
An American Lyric
Author:
Rankine, Claudia
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20040901
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
bandw photos and illustrations throughou
Pages:
168
Dimensions:
9.93 x 5.55 x 0.48 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Don't Let Me Be Lonely New Trade Paper
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Product details 168 pages Graywolf Press - English 9781555974077 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

There are little televisions throughout Don't Let Me Be Lonely. Really. Little photographs of televisions, sometimes depicting widely broadcast images from the news, sometimes only static, are interspersed throughout this long prose poem. The images come as a slight shock at first — poetry arguably being the antithesis of television — but as Rankine's compelling narrative voice navigates the images, the sound bites, the advertisements, and the inevitable detritus, the televisions become symbols for us — we sad, solitary, lost individuals. It both is and isn't as heavy as it sounds: her primary themes are death and depression, but her observations are often fiercely wry. Honestly, I've never been interested in overtly political poetry, but Rankine has made this political poetry so gut-wrenchingly personal, so emotionally resonant — not to mention the brilliant formal execution — that I will never write off political poetry again.

"Staff Pick" by ,

It's difficult to say which genre best fits Claudia Rankine's explosive fourth book, Don't Let Me Be Lonely, so instead I'll say it is poem/essay/many-headed hydra. Narrated by a stricken, channel-surfing "I" and accompanied by images as disparate as video stills from Herzog's Fitzcarraldo as well as from the murder case of Amadou Diallo, it is also poem as evening news, and poem as Eisensteinian montage in which "each sequential element is perceived not next to the other, but on top of the other." These stacking worlds create the odd, mesmerizing gulf from which Rankine writes, one in which anxiety, grief, and footnote are the only constants. Challenging, startling, and moving, this project is one of the first that has actually spoken to me in its address of the sociopolitical, schizophrenic times in which we live.

"Synopsis" by , The award-winning poet Claudia Rankine, well known for her experimental multigenre writing, fuses the lyric, the essay, and the visual in this politically and morally fierce examination of solitude in the rapacious and media-driven assault on selfhood that is contemporary America. With wit and intelligence, Rankine strives toward an unprecedented clarity--of thought, imagination, and sentence-making--while arguing that recognition of others is the only salvation for ourselves, our art, and our government. Don't Let Me Be Lonely is an important new confrontation with our culture, with a voice at its heart bewildered by its inadequacy in the face of race riots, terrorist attacks, medicated depression, and the antagonism of the television that won't leave us alone.
"Synopsis" by ,
In this powerful sequence of TV images and essay, Claudia Rankine explores the personal and political unrest of our volatile new century

I forget things too. It makes me sad. Or it makes

me the saddest. The sadness is not really about

George W. or our American optimism; the

sadness lives in the recognition that a life can

not matter.

The award-winning poet Claudia Rankine, well known for her experimental multigenre writing, fuses the lyric, the essay, and the visual in this politically and morally fierce examination of solitude in the rapacious and media-driven assault on selfhood that is contemporary America. With wit and intelligence, Rankine strives toward an unprecedented clarity-of thought, imagination, and sentence-making-while arguing that recognition of others is the only salvation for ourselves, our art, and our government.

Don't Let Me Be Lonely is an important new confrontation with our culture, with a voice at its heart bewildered by its inadequacy in the face of race riots, terrorist attacks, medicated depression, and the antagonism of the television that won't leave us alone.

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