‘The year’s most buzzed-about debut’
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 the micro-aggressions, she’s thrilled when 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 cause Nella to become Public Enemy Number One and Hazel, the Office Darling.
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 realises that there is a lot more at stake than her career.
A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.
A Spirited, Potent Read!
So very different and, at times, a bit strange and unsettling!
Nella Rogers works in publishing at Wagner Books where she feels very much the token black girl. She’s fed up with never really feeling a part of things so when the other black girl turns up in the cubicle next to hers, Nella is delighted. Just as a friendship begins to bloom, there is a succession of things which leave Hazel as everyone’s best friend and Nella as public enemy number one. Then Nella begins to receive little notes telling her to leave Wagner; is Hazel really going to be that obvious in her take-over, or is there more to this than meets the eye?
Who knew the world of publishing could be so cutthroat? Everyone I deal with is always so nice! There are more than one narrators in this book, and for quite some time I didn’t know what the connection was. On several occasions I was reading on assuming I was still with one person when I suddenly realised it was someone else now. It’s really hard to put this one aside; it’s a compelling read and one where I was almost afraid to miss a word in case it altered something and I missed it! For a long time I wasn’t really sure what was going on, then it got even more complicated and by the end I was left wondering what happened to some of the characters. From time to time I had the chilling feeling of glimpses of The Handmaid’s Tale and the Stepford Wives. Weird and sinister with an almost futuristic feel to it, it was strangely enjoyable. I thought I had hair problems – I shall look at anyone with black hair with a new admiration from now on! A spirited, potent read and one I’m sure will make this author one to note for future. For me, I’m happy to give this one 4*.
My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.
- Format: ebook, paperback, hardcover, audiobook, audio cd
- Size: 354 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury
- Publication Date: 01 June 2021
- Book Links:
Zakiya Dalila Harris received an MFA in creative writing from The New School, and she teaches writing to children at Writopia Lab in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Guernica and The Rumpus. The Other Black Girl is her debut novel.
- Twitter: @zakiya_harris
- Facebook: @zakiyadalilaharris
- Instagram: @zakiyadalilaharris