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The Other Black Girl

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  543 ratings  ·  238 reviews
Get Out meets The Stepford Wives in this electric debut about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing.

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
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: June 1st 2021 by Atria Books
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John Amory I'm reading this now and can't recall there being an answer in the text, but based on other context clues and how much these characters love Black lit…moreI'm reading this now and can't recall there being an answer in the text, but based on other context clues and how much these characters love Black literature, Nella Larsen came to mind for me.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Emily May
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, modern-lit, 2021
If, when scanning the description for this book, your eye was caught by The Devil Wears Prada comparison, I strongly suggest you move your eyes over a couple of words and take a good long look at the Get Out comparison. I can understand the temptation to compare The Other Black Girl to The Devil Wears Prada, as both are set in a cutthroat work environment and are primarily about women, but I think it could draw the wrong readers to this book. It is not a light feel-good comedy-drama in any sense ...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
This novel was nothing like what I was expecting. I was hoping for an intelligent story about the lack of diversity in the publishing industry. I admit I know nothing about this subject and that’s why I was very interested in the novel.

First the blurb for the book, in case you haven’t read it :

“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 Haz
...more
Kai
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
When she said The Devil wears Prada meets Get Out? The author wasn't messing around.

The suspense definitely got to me. I did that thing where you skip ahead and read a future chapter because you cannot stand not knowing any longer. You cannot watch a character you love run headfirst into something that you know is going to end up badly for them. It was a horrible experience and by that I mean the author did an excellent job. I was hooked from the start.

It was an intense book. It was a thrilling
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Chelsea Humphrey
Apr 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chelsea by: Dennis
I think it's important to know going into this book that it's not what I would classify as a thriller, although the final 20% of the book is certainly saturated with considerable doses of conflict and a bit of horror, which I thought was brilliant. The Other Black Girl is really more of a dark, slow burning literary fiction that brings us a timely, necessary tale of caution, while speaking on themes of white privilege and racial bias. I was so grateful to buddy read this with Dennis, because it ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Micro aggressions in the office environment and rising discrimination, marginalization of coworkers at the publishing industry! Wow! What a realistic, whirlwind, impeccably analyzed concept and excellent choice for a debut author!

When I see the blurb tells me this book’s story between Devil Wears Prada meets Get Out, I screamed I’m all in! Even though the story I read is nothing as it’s advertised but I still enjoyed the mysterious narration, the jaw dropping surrealist turn of the story’s dire
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Roman Clodia
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, that wasn't at all what I expected from the blurb, but the difference is good. Turns out this is one of the most original storylines of recent years that is both timely and absolutely of the moment as Harris tackles the question of race in the overwhelmingly white world of Manhattan book publishing.

There's an authenticity to the work scenes and the kind of detail that proves Harris knows what she's talking about - but there's also a bold and somewhat bonkers surreal turn to the plot that
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Nina
Mind = blown.

Whatever I was expecting, I wasn’t expecting that. The Other Black Girl starts off as your usual office drama, which I was definitely here for. However, as the story begins to unfold and you start to encounter different POVs, you realise not is all as it seems, and there is something much darker going on beneath the surface.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot, as I think it’s better experienced first-hand. However, I do want to explain my star rating a little further, becau
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Read In Colour
Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Did not see that ending coming.
Melissa
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Atria Books in exchange for a review.

Nella Rogers is thrilled that another Black woman has finally been hired at Wagner Books, but why does it seem like they’re in competition to keep the white people happy? And who is leaving these notes saying GET OUT NOW on Nella’s desk? While I loved the story of Nella and backstabby Hazel, the slow pacing and the shifting perspectives back and forth in time and between different characters keeps this from be
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Sarah
Jan 04, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, netgalley
Somewhere between 3-3.5

One of the buzziest debuts of 2021, The Other Black Girl is something of a literary world mash-up between Get Out and The Devil Wears Prada.

Nella is a 26-year-old publishing assistant at Wagner, a publisher in New York, and the only black woman working at the company. Underrepresented in the industry, she is excited when another black woman, Hazel, joins the company. They initially bond over discussing hair care tips, but all is not quite as it seems, and after a series of
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Sana
Jan 05, 2021 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
'...debut thriller described as a cross between Get Out meets The Devil Wears Prada'

Oooh, I'm listening
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Satbo Reads Books
Jan 15, 2021 rated it liked it
Now, this book I really had to sit down, let this book settle in my brain before I reviewed it. The premise is very interesting and I couldn't wait to read it. Now that I have, I'm left feeling unsatisfied. The ending and plot twist didn't hit for me. The book is very slow-paced which was to create suspense, but the action gets going for the last 25% of the book. So it is a slow burner, as we get to see Nella in the work place and her interactions.

Now the book is described as The Devil Meets Pr
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Deandra
YES. This book so lived up to high expectations. Couldn’t put it down and then couldn’t stop thinking about it when I had to.
Katy
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I literally stayed up all night so I could finish this book in one sitting. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been this engrossed. An absolutely electric ride.
Naty
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I received an advance copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and after reading it I can say that it definitely belongs in the best-of-2021 category for me! I started it expecting it to be a thriller, but I think this book is better described as a slow-paced horror with thriller elements (mostly by the end of the book). We follow Nella, as she navigates the very white world of publishing on
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Ivana - Diary of Difference
I received an uncorrected proof of this book by the publisher, in advance of the Bloomsbury Night In event.

Wishlist | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Ko-fi
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Victoria Rose
For some reason I went into this novel fixated on the Devil Wears Prada comparison, and as such expected an easy to read comedy drama with some added social justice elements and arguments. I was really, really far off the mark.

What The Other Black Girl actually is very hard to pin down. At first, the office drama elements are at the forefront of the novel, as our protagonist Nella struggles with being the only Black girl in an office of white people who continuously talk down to her. Then, Haze
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Paris (parisperusing)
Bumping this one up to 3.5 stars instead of 3, purely for the risks taken with this book. I came verrrrry close to giving this book a lower rating than that, so maybe I’m being generous.

The Other Black Girl is very ridiculous, absurd and low-key problematic, but I’d be lying if I said the epilogue wasn’t pretty brilliant. Very Jordan Peele, indeed.

In retrospect, I’d say this book was not written to be taken seriously than it was to be satirical — something I wasn’t quite expecting from the openi
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Megan Collins
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Get ready, book lovers. This is the novel that everyone will be talking about this summer—and with good reason. Set in the publishing world, THE OTHER BLACK GIRL (out June 1) feels like The Devil Wears Prada meets Get Out, an absolutely thrilling and riveting combination! An editorial assistant at Wagner Books, Nella has been the only Black woman in the office for two years, enduring an environment filled with daily microaggressions and diluted attempts at diversity training. Then, in walks Haze ...more
Kristen Beverly
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Nella is the only Black girl at a publishing house until a new hire, Hazel, arrives. Nella is so excited but realizes quickly that Hazel might not be the ally she was looking for. The Other Black Girl is a window into the world of publishing and the fight for true multi-dimensional diversity in the workplace. It’s a really fun, intriguing novel that I could never quite figure out where it was going. The ending was a huge and twisty surprise! Highly recommended for lovers of contemporary fiction ...more
Siobhan
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Other Black Girl is a tense social commentary thriller about what happens when a New York publishing house gets a second Black girl in the office. Nella is in her twenties and trying to make it at Wagner Books, but as an editorial assistant and the only Black person in the office, it isn't easy. When Hazel joins the company and the desk near hers, it seems like a chance to have an ally, but they've barely had a chance to bond before it starts to seem like people like Hazel a lot more than Ne ...more
Kayla Ramoutar
Apr 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Big thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada, Atria Books, and NetGalley for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Nella is the only Black employee at a publishing company in New York and is thrilled when the company hires another Black woman, Hazel. Except Hazel is... off. There's something about her that rubs Nella (and the reader) the wrong way, and it's a slow-burn race to figure out what her deal is.

I found this a deeply compelling novel. It's not necessarily a horror novel, but i
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Barbara
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Wow, what a sleepless rollercoaster of a reading experience this was. More thoughts after I take a break.
Cari
Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not wait for this book, so when I saw it available on Edelweiss, I raced through it. It is a Lead Read for the summer of 2021, and it is going to hit big. I loved Nella, the protagonist, who is one of the few Black people to work at the titan publisher Wagner, and the only one who doesn't work in the mailroom. Nella is the assistant to Vera, an editor who handles high-profile clients. But then Hazel shows up - she's also Black, and at first Nella thinks they'll get along just fine. Hazel ...more
Andrew
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
WOW. If it's possible to be delightfully distressed, The Other Black Girl is the novel that will make it happen. Racial diversity has long been an issue in the literary world, be it the publishing industry, authentic representation, or even simply signing Black authors. Harris brings an even darker twist to these real-life affairs in her jaw-dropping debut, The Other Black Girl, starring twenty-six year old Nella Rogers. She's initially thrilled when Hazel joins the team at her publishing house; ...more
Loan Le
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Get ready for this. Seriously.
Melinda
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was just the slightest bit bored for like 100 pages, and then all of a sudden it turned into Get Out: The Book.
Cheryl
Dec 30, 2020 rated it liked it
This is such a well written, intelligently conceived and deftly-plotted book, and I was so excited to see where it was going to go. I was really rooting for Nella, and racing through the pages, totally engaged...and then it all went wrong. I can see why it has been compared to "Get Out", but for me the plot twist that comes two thirds of the way through was so ludicrous and underdeveloped that it derailed the whole thing, Reading other reviews here, I think I'm definitely in the minority, and I ...more
Sandra
Dec 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a lovely insight into the publishing world, but also representative of other industries and how hard it can be when you're one of the only few Black people in the office.
Nella is the only Black worker at Wagner (i.e she doesn't work in the mailroom or anything like that) and is pleased when she sees another Black girl interviewing for a role and then getting the role. Nella is so pleased to have another Black girl in the office and quickly tries to get to know Hazel. Through their
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Alicia
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5
My opinions on this might change over time, but I finished this yesterday and these were my initial thoughts.
As an actual black girl in publishing I was so excited to read this. Having now read it, it was not what I expected at all. The 'twist' is very out there, the plot is wild. That being said I think it took too long for the plot to actually start, the beginning of this is quite alow going.
The ending of the book is also quite abrupt, I couldn't quite believe it was the end when I got the
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Zakiya Dalila Harris received an MFA in creative writing from The New School. Her work has appeared in Guernica and The Rumpus, and her debut novel, The Other Black Girl, is forthcoming from Atria Books. She lives in Brooklyn.

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