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Zakiya Dalila Harris’ Slow-Burn Thriller “The Other Black Girl” Is An Indictment Of The Publishing Industry’s Overwhelming Whiteness: BUST Review

by BUST Magazine

Book publishing was put under a microscope last year when people started buying up anti-racist titles by the thousands in response to that summer’s Black Lives Matter protests. The result of this scrutiny? A public awareness of just how glaringly white the industry is. Former editorial assistant Zakiya Dalila Harris plunges readers directly into the publishing world with The Other Black Girl, a slow-burning thriller centered on microaggressions and gaslighting with a seriously unsettling twist.

Book loving, 26-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is determined to move up the ladder at one of New York’s most prominent publishing houses, Wagner Books. Then Hazel arrives. Nella is ecstatic about having another young Black woman joining the ranks. That is, until Hazel pushes Nella into an uncomfortable situation, causing her to question their newly formed friendship. Then, a note arrives on her desk: LEAVE WAGNER NOW. Did Hazel intentionally get Nella into trouble? Is she the one leaving threatening notes on Nella’s desk? Gripping, sharp, and full of creeping unease, The Other Black Girl takes office drama to a whole new level. –Samantha Ladwig

The Other Black Girl: A Novel
By Zakiya Dalila Harris
(Atria Books)

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2021 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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