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The Other Black Girl

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  35,862 ratings  ·  5,819 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
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published June 1st 2021 by Atria Books
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Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  35,862 ratings  ·  5,819 reviews

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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

I took my time to write this review because I did not want to write this review while I was mad. For one, whenever I write a review when I am mad, I end up regretting it and it is generally laced with grammatical errors.

Friends, this book is 352 pages long and majority of the plot happened in the last 32 pages. If I could physically fight a book I would. The entire time I was reading this book I kept thinking, “WHERE IS THE EDITIOR?!!!!” because I did not understand how
myo (myonna reads)
i hate this book, i hate that everything is compared to get out, i hate nella, i hate that they bring up black twitter so much and i hate the plot twist. will give a better review later

recently i’ve been kinda annoyed that every black thriller has been compared to get out but i get it, that’s not gonna stop me from reading it. i love that black thrillers focus on racism because as a black person, everything has to do with race. this issue is that this was the worst of them all.

i hated Nelly as
May 16, 2021 rated it liked it
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris 

The story starts thirty years earlier as a black woman boards an almost empty train. She's running from somebody or something and she is literally trying not to tear her scalp into a bloody mess. Who is she and what is she running from?

Present day greets us with 26 year old Nella Rogers, the only black employee at Wagner Books. Finally the day comes when another editorial assistant is hired and she's black! Nella is no longer alone and she is ecstatic
Apr 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is not a story I saw coming, partly because I was misled by the blurb for Zakiya Dalila Harris's novel comparing it to The Devil Wears Prada and a workplace comedy drama this is not. It is a chilling and deeply unsettling examination of the black experience in the predominantly white publishing industry, set in New York at the fictional Wagner Books. For 26 year old Nella Rogers, a lonely and isolated black editorial assistant, negotiating the micro-aggressions of her daily working life has ...more
Mar 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read
**4.5-stars rounded up**

The Other Black Girl is a super-smart debut; this would make a great freaking movie. I really enjoyed my time reading it.

It's hard to categorize what exactly this book is. While it felt like subtle Horror to me, I'll settle for describing it as Speculative Fiction with an extra special Thriller twist.

Nella Rogers is an editorial assistant at Wagner Books and the only black employee in that position. Wagner was her goal publishing house from the start. She worked damn har
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
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
Paris (parisperusing)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Juanita, a bookish vegan
Jun 11, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2021-read
This book may have been written by a Black woman but it was not written for Black women. You either get this statement or you don’t.

I was really looking forward to the release date for this book. The cover is beautiful and the synopsis is intriguing. I had heard comparisons to Get Out which I took with a grain of salt because I personally feel that Get Out is one of the most original and socially relevant movie of the 21st century. While plodding through this book I found it ironic that the sto
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
I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. I mean, the plot was interesting enough - a twenty-something, black, editorial assistant trying to climb the ladder meets the second black girl in her company and finds that there’s more to her new co-worker than what appears. Nice, office setting thriller, but I found issues with the execution of the story.

For starters, there were too many laughable moments for me to take this story seriously as a thriller. The protagonist’s awkwardness made
Allison Faught
Aug 24, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star, 2021
2.75 ⭐️
It really had immense potential and I loved the idea of reading a book about how there isn’t enough diversity in the workplace with a badass female protagonist to raise hell. However, that’s not quite the route the story decided to take.
Seeing as this was promised to be ‘thrilling’ and ‘a page-turner’, I honestly felt the opposite. ‘Funny’ though, there were a couple times I let out a sincere chuckle.
This book just about bored me to tears. I couldn’t wait to finish so I could start anoth
This was the book troop pick for the month of June! Had a really great conversation with my friend Jesse about this book, 💞 you can see it here:

Taylor Jenkins Reid
Nella, tired of being the only Black employee at her job, is thrilled when Hazel joins the company. With the beginnings of a friendship taking root, Nella soon finds herself left behind after a series of events boost Hazel to “Office Darling.” When alarming notes start appearing on Nella’s desk, her obsession to find out who is behind them will lead her to realize there’s much more than just her career at stake. A thrilling story with real teeth.
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it

ugh, this is what i get for not reviewing my books right away. this was the veryfirst book i read in 2021 and now it's may—mere WEEKS before pub date, and my memory of it is fuzzier than this book deserves.

it's being pitched as The Devil Wears Prada meets Get Out. my interests lie firmly on the Get Out side of that spectrum, and—to me—this book took its sweet time getting to that part, and by the time it shifted from being an office drama centered on frustrated ambitions, forced
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
May 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Zakiya Dalila Harris has penned an extraordinary literary psychological thriller for her debut. Nella and Hazel meet when they work in side-by-side cubicles- in book publishing! They are Black women working in the predominantly white publishing industry, and this is a tense story that continues to build from the very start.

There’s satire, genre-bending, and so much to think about here, and I don’t want to give anything away. The twists are unexpected, and I was along for the ride and completely
Elyse  Walters
Race in the work place….
….mirrors the realities about micro-aggression, indoctrination, discrimination,
racism, white privilege, diversity, meanness, covert competitiveness: horrific unsettling aspects….


Not without flaws - but overall the psychological suspenseful office politics -story with its whip-smart dialogue- is both hilarious and disturbing-both enjoyable and important!
Zakiya Dalila Harris’s prose is indomitable - feisty- with trail
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
Jul 15, 2021 rated it liked it
I was intrigued by the premise of The Other Black Girl, a story about Nella, an editorial assistant at publishing house, Wagner Books. Nella is the only Black employee until Hazel is hired.

At first, Nella is thrilled to have Hazel there, the possibility of a genuine work friendship on her mind. They get along but Hazel quickly rises to be well-liked by many employees at Wagner, including Nella’s boss, who asks her to begin reviewing manuscripts.

One day, Nella receives an anonymous note at work
Jan 27, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: disappointment
Extremely amateurish and disappointing.

So many things about this book—the stilted writing, the barely-there plot, the underwhelming execution of social commentary—are amateurish and disappointing.

The idea behind this could have worked. But its execution here is UNFORGIVABLE.

I literally want to cry. That's how awful this was.

If you want a smart, funny, suspenseful story about a young Black woman working in publishing (all of the things The Other Black Girl is supposed to be but is not), please,
May 27, 2021 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Roman Clodia
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published this week - grab it and then discuss with all your friends!

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 th
Jul 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021, from-library
Or if it was a push she'd always had within, from the day she’d first learned that it would not be enough for her to simply go to college, get good grades, and get the interview. That it wouldn’t be enough to simply show up to work; to simply wear the right clothes. You had to wear the right mentality. You had to live the mentality. Be everyone’s best friend. Be sassy. Be confident, but also be deferential. Be spiritual, but also be down-to-earth. Be woke, but still keep some of that sleep in yo
Ms. Woc Reader
May 24, 2021 rated it it was ok
The Other Black Girl is a story set in a publishing office environment following Nella Rodgers who is a young editorial assistant at a major publisher with big dreams to becoming an editor. She's determined to be the next big Black editor following in the footsteps of Kendra Rae, an editor from the 80s who worked for the same company. While she's hopefully waiting for that promotion her work environment has also been getting to her. Her coworkers have been dismissive of the diversity town halls ...more
May 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
I’m probably going to be echoing a lot of other reviews here when I say I was noooooot expecting the direction this went in at all. I don’t really see how I can even broach on the themes of The Other Black Girl without giving something away. I guess the best I can say is that this is a novel that doesn’t cleanly fall into a genre, and you’re never quite sure what a character’s true motivations are.

Nella is an editorial assistant at Wagner Books, an almost entirely white publishing house in New
Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer
Published today 3/6/21 - this is certainly going to be one of the most discussed literary novels of 2021 – at least in the United States.

I think it’s a book best read largely cold – so I don’t think it makes sense to say to really add anything to the blurb in terms of plot/characters etc and I will try instead to focus on overall approach and themes.

And it is very difficult to categorise:

As a book that blends part literary fiction, part Book Club discussion book; part modern social comedy of m
Rachel Reads Ravenously
3 stars

Get Out + Stepford Wives in the publishing industry? Believe me when I tell you that’s all it took to sell me on this book. Barnes and Noble even had a special sale where for two days the hardcover edition was 50% off and I RAN to them to purchase this book. I also want to note, photos of this cover does not do it justice. In real life the book cover is STUNNING. Blue sparkles and soft cover that I could stare at for long periods of time (I’m weird, I know).

This book is about Nella Roge
Sep 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poc-author, favorites
It feels rare when a book can keep my attention these days, let alone keep me on my toes. But I genuinely had no idea how this book was going to go and it definitely got me excited to keep reading to see where it all went.

Watch my full thoughts in my book review:
Edward Lorn
Jun 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Blew through this in a little more than 2 days. Hated any time I had to stop reading. But be forewarned, this is far more speculative fiction than your average thriller. Some fantastical elements, but that's why it was so good. ...more
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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.

Articles featuring this book

We love a good mystery, and we are especially intrigued when a brand-new debut author appears in the genre! Who knows what thrills and...
56 likes · 3 comments
“With heightened awareness of cultural sensitivity comes great responsibility. If we’re not careful, ‘diversity’ might become an item people start checking off a list and nothing more—a shallow, shadowy thing with but one dimension.” 4 likes
“But in other instances, he made so much sense that it hurt, like his post on why “well-meaning white folks” were sometimes far worse than white folks who wore their racist hearts on their sleeves. So, as Nella considered why she distrusted Needles and Pins so much, she also considered what Jesse had said about white people who went out of their way to present “diversity”: “With heightened awareness of cultural sensitivity comes great responsibility. If we’re not careful, ‘diversity’ might become an item people start checking off a list and nothing more—a shallow, shadowy thing with but one dimension.” 1 likes
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