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The Other Black Girl
by Zakiya Dalila Harris
The publicity for Zakiya Dalila Harris’s debut novel describes the book as a literary mash-up of The Devil Wears Prada and Get Out. That sets the bar high with the promise of a cultural landmark — a novel that’s timely, hilarious, witty, mildly terrifying, emotionally textured and conversant on the social and political issues that Black women face in the world and the workplace. Is the novel worth the hype? Yes. It should be at the top of your summer reading list. – The Washington Post
High praise indeed from the Washington Post and spot on with regards it’s description.
Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at prestigious New York publishers, 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. Struggling with the unfairness of it all and hurt that Hazel doesn’t appear to be on the same page as her, Nella is completely blindsided when notes start appearing on her desk saying 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 clever, rather dark thriller, a lesson in hair management and a sly social commentary that will push all your “that’s not fair” buttons, make you think about racial dynamics in the workplace and slay you with it’s completely fabulous, unexpected twist.
This tale of office racism feels like a thriller and ends up somewhere close to sci-fi. The payoff is darkly, brutally twisted, a witty commentary on the behaviours people adopt in order to get ahead within oppressive structures – The Guardian.
Filled with twists both unsettling and unexpected – Time
Ideal for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace – Fortune
[This] stunning debut . . . flies into uncharted territory as a racially charged thriller/horror mash-up and perfectly sticks its unpredictable landing – The Times