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All booksContemporary fictionThe Other Black Girl
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

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, Icon_Puzzle

    Puzzle

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Millenial

    Millennial

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_BookAboutBooks

    Book about books

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Unsettling

    Unsettling

Why I love it

Wanda Morris
Author, All Her Little Secrets

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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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.

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Preview

Get an early look from the first pages of The Other Black Girl.

Member thoughts

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All (152)
Love (73)
Like (64)
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154 ratings
  • 47% Love
  • 42% Like
  • 10% Dislike