Feature Title

The Other Black Girl

 

By Zakiya Dalilia Harris

Paperback: pr6183164

Jun 2021


Check out our latest feature title review from Library Bound's Susan Wallace!

When Nella landed her dream job as an editorial assistant at Wagner Books, she couldn’t believe her good fortune. But now, after two years of working long hours and taking on many extra projects, she’s starting to feel exploited and frustrated.

She’s also not totally comfortable being the only Black employee amidst a sea of white faces. Beyond the regular office politics, she often has to navigate microaggressions and thoughtless comments from her colleagues. When Nella suggests to a high profile white author that his new novel about a Black female addict doesn’t feel authentic, her boss is furious and forces Nella make a written apology.

Shortly after this encounter, Nella is encouraged when another Black woman is hired to work at Wagner Books, and she thinks that she’ll finally have an ally at the office. Her new co-worker, Hazel, is friendly and smart, but Nella starts to suspect that there’s something a little ‘off’ about her. Eventually little notes start to appear on Nella’s desk telling her to “LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.”, and she wonders if Hazel could be behind the menacing threats.

The novel is a satirical and sinister psychological thriller, but it’s a slow burn and takes a while to build up the suspense. The frequent switching between narrators can be a little confusing, but Nella’s frustration, confusion and fear feel very real. It’s a clever piece of social commentary and a very satisfying read.

- Susan Wallace | Account Representative


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