The Other Black Girl Book

Huge amounts of buzz surrounding the debut of Zakiya Delilah Harris, who dates back several months when publishers tweeted their joy at getting their hands on a copy of the other black girl. I admit that I suffered with this desire for evidence and resorted to NetGalley when it turned out that there was no more. It takes place in a prestigious New York publishing house and follows Nella, the only black employee of the editorial office, until Hazel is installed in the cabin next to the cabin where she has been working for two years.

Nella spends a lot of time questioning the reactions of her colleagues, especially her boss, who has not yet entrusted her with the responsibility she is pursuing. The daughter of wealthy parents, a Harvard graduate, knows that she has to work twice as hard as white editorial assistants, all of whom hope to raise their low status. When Hazel arrives, Nella is happy. Perhaps all these diversity meetings have paid off, despite the less and less presence of her colleagues, but she suffers a little from Hazel’s self-confidence, her ability to easily slip into her role and quickly become popular with everyone from the receptionist to the chef.

When nella worries about the confrontation with the best-selling author of Wagner Books, in the last offer of which a painfully stereotypical black figure was put on, Hazel confides in her. Maybe Nella has finally found an ally. Then anonymous notes will appear on your desktop, asking you to leave Wagner. As Hazel’s behavior becomes clearly hideous, nella begins to wonder if she’s behind a campaign that seems to drive her away, but the truth doesn’t seem so simple.

In her eyes, she was the exception. She was qualified.”A review from the publisher, so to speak, it often happens that a book that has been published for a long time is disappointing, the expectations are too high, but not this one with its irresistible setting, at least for me. Harris’s novel draws no punches and sheds a penetrating light on the dazzling white world of publishing, which she clearly knows well, preferring it to Satire. The result is an awesome story that is often incredibly fun and flaky. Events are seen from Nella’s point of view as she uncovers a surprising conspiracy to make black candidates more acceptable to a white world by being less herself. I really enjoyed it, even though the ending is terrible, and I wondered how all these publishers felt when they read it, especially people of color who seem to be as rare here in the UK as they are apparently in the US.

Gwendolyn B. Baggett

Gwendolyn B. Baggett

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