Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Length: 368 pages
Audiobook Length: 12 hours and 30 minutes
First Published: 2021
Tired of being the only Black woman at Wagner Books, Nella Rogers is thrilled when Harlem-born Hazel moves into the cubicle next to her. When Hazel becomes the office darling, Nella starts receiving threatening notes. Could Hazel be trying to force out Nella, or is there much more going on in their workplace?
More office drama than thrilling read, The Other Black Girl suffers from poor pacing, taking forever for anything to happen and then rushing the ending. Inserted into the plot are other POV chapters which supposedly build up to the Twilight Zone twist, but in reality, just drag down the text even more. I enjoyed the social commentary, as well as the interplay between Nella and Hazel, and thought the big reveal was a fascinating concept, though so unsatisfactorily explained that the climax lost its potency.
Urgent, propulsive, and sharp as a knife, The Other Black Girl is an 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 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.
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 realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.
A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.
About Zakiya Dalila Harris
Zakiya Dalila Harris is the author of The Other Black Girl. She previously worked in editorial at Knopf/Doubleday. She currently lives in Brooklyn. Visit the author’s website →