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The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Contemporary fiction

The Other Black Girl

Debut

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Zakiya Dalila Harris, on your first book!

by Zakiya Dalila Harris

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Quick Take

A whip-smart, entertaining tale of one assistant's dawning realization that her dream job is anything but.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Critically_Acclaimed

    Critically acclaimed

  • Illustrated icon, Millenial

    Millennial

  • Illustrated icon, Book_About_Books

    Book about books

  • Illustrated icon, Unsetteling

    Unsettling

Synopsis

Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.

Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.

It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.

A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.

Why I love it

I am a sucker for a book with relatable characters, an inside peek into office culture, and a devilish twist, and The Other Black Girl did not disappoint. From Nella Rogers’s first whiff of cocoa butter wafting through the cubicles of Wagner Publishing, you know things are amiss in this whip-smart and stunning debut.

Nella is the only Black woman working in the editorial department of a NYC publishing house. Exhausted by the daily microaggressions and isolation, she is overjoyed when Harlem-born Hazel McCall joins the company. But just as they begin swapping natural hair care tips and boyfriend stories, mysterious and threatening notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk, warning her to leave Wagner Publishing. Is Hazel who she says she is? Who wants Nella to leave Wagner and why?

I devoured this book! I was hooked from the cleverly nuanced depiction of life as a Black woman in the predominantly white world of publishing to its sly social commentaries on racism and the need to be everything to everyone. I was immediately drawn in by Harris’s unsparing voice and her keen observations of what it takes to navigate that new and nebulous space called adulthood. Everything that makes this book so deliciously good are the same things that make it so heartbreakingly authentic—things like the toxicity of office politics and the searing angst of trying to fit in or whether you should make the effort at all.

Zakiya doesn’t miss a beat in this book, right up to the last mind-blowing twist!

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Contemporary fiction
View all
The Last Love Note
Anita de Monte Laughs Last
The Leftover Woman
Interesting Facts about Space
Bye, Baby
Swan Song
How to Read a Book
The Connellys of County Down
Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life
A Summer Affair
Adelaide
The Collected Regrets of Clover
Evil Eye
Maame
Advika and the Hollywood Wives
Once There Were Wolves
We Are the Brennans
Olga Dies Dreaming
If Only I Could Tell You
How Lucky
My Dark Vanessa
Nine Perfect Strangers
Honey Girl
One Italian Summer
Eight Hundred Grapes
The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes
The Five-Star Weekend
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
The Nest
Rich and Pretty
Britt-Marie Was Here
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
Startup
The Identicals
The Dinner List
Goodbye, Paris
Winter in Paradise
A Woman Is No Man
Queenie
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Beyond the Point
What Happens in Paradise
Nothing to See Here
When We Were Vikings
Anxious People
A Good Neighborhood
Big Summer
The Last Story of Mina Lee
Troubles in Paradise
White Ivy
This Close to Okay
The Removed
The Kindest Lie
Good Company
Impostor Syndrome
The Other Black Girl
Apples Never Fall
A Quiet Life
We Are the Light
The Fortunes of Jaded Women
When We Were Bright and Beautiful
The Hotel Nantucket