The original blurb for “The Other Black Girl”, the debut novel by Zakiya Dalila Harris described it as Get Out meets The Devil Wears Prada, and this is one of the reasons that piqued my interest. The yellow cover with two broken teeth on an Afro pick was the other reason I thought this book would be an interesting read. I have to say the book did not disappoint at all.
Despite microaggressions, white privilege, office politics, racism and diversity in the workplace being central themes, the book was laugh out loud in places. It was also relatable to me as I have often been the only Black person in white spaces. The excitement conveyed when you see someone who looks like you entering your workplace, hoping and praying that they will give you the nod, and being disappointed when they don’t acknowledge you was so well explained here.
I believe, non Black people will also enjoy reading the book, as the writing is clever and thought-provoking. It will also make people rethink their own behaviour and prejudices without being preachy.
Set in the world of publishing, the book is not only funny but also a thriller, and possibly science fiction. As the reader you are rooting for Nella (the protagonist) and become more and more suspicious of the Other Black Girl, Hazel. The narrative style also introduces other characters who you’re not quite sure how they fit into Nella’s world but the twist brings everything together.
I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what else Harris writes, and due to the originality of the story, as well as it not being a stereotypical Black book I hope her work is recognised in forthcoming book awards.
Thank you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
With regard to the reading challenge prompts, it fulfils the following prompts:
- Popsugar – A book where the main character works at your current or dream job (I mean isn’t it obvious I would love a job where I could be paid to read books and talk about them 😂)
- Black Girls Read Too – A book with black in the title
The Other Black Girl is available in hardback or on audio now from your usual retailers now. Why don’t you buy the book today!