When I suggest optimistically that the FT is keen on boozy lunches she demurs and opts for a ginger lime soda. Rankine opens with a series of second-person pieces on micro-aggressions that "send adrenaline to the heart, dry out the tongue, and clog the lungs". Don't Let Me Be Lonely: an American Lyric by Claudia Rankine is published by Penguin 176pp, £9.99.
Rankine has edited numerous anthologies, including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind (Fence Books, 2015), American Poets in the... Biography of Claudia Rankine. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Rankine was educated at Catholic all-girls schools before coming to the US to study at Williams College and then at Columbia University. Claudia Rankine onstage at the New Yorker Festival in 2015 Photo: Anna Webber/Getty Images.