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Zigzagging to the end

Cover of The Other Black Girl
A review of The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

The publisher's blurb for this book mentions the movie Get Out and that's a fair comparison. But I recently heard author Zakiya Dalila Harris talking about the influences on her writing and she mentioned Stephen King and I can see that too. Those aside, debut author Harris puts her own fresh, unique stamp on her novel and takes the story to places neither of those others could or did go. What starts out as a skewering of the whiteness of the publishing biz is turned sideways when a building, unknown menace begins to infuse the story.

Nella Rogers is an editorial assistant and the only Black employee at Wagner Books. She struggles with the micro and let's admit it, macro-aggressions she experiences daily. So when another Black woman is hired by Wagner Nella is thrilled. Finally she'll not be so lonely. Surely Hazel will truly understand Nella's frustrations and be the sounding board she's been longing for. Nella's delight is short-lived as Hazel not only gets along with her white colleagues, but also charms them, so much so that she is quickly getting opportunities never offered to Nella. And even as Nella is dealing with this competition from the one person she thought would be an ally, the notes start to appear. Notes that tell her to "Leave Wagner. Now." 

That's as far as I'm going to go in telling you about the plot as part of the delight I had in this book was how it never went where I thought it was going to go. The slow-building, sinister surprises it offered were so good, and yes, thrilling, that I want you to be able to experience them too. Enjoy!

Jun 8, 2021