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Zakiya Dalila Harris Author of the highly anticipated The Other Black Girl

About the Author

Zakiya Dalila Harris is the author of The Other Black Girl (on-Sale: June 1, 2021), her debut novel that has been named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by TimeThe Washington PostHarper’s BazaarEntertainment WeeklyThe MillionsLit HubElectric LiteratureThe RumpusCrimeReadsGoodreadsFortuneHypeBae, BBC, and more. Harris’ book has been called “a can’t-miss title for 2021” (Harper’s Bazaar) and a thriller that “you won’t be able to put down” (Today Show), garnering widespread attention more than half a year from its publication date. It will also be adapted to a television series for Hulu, with Harris serving as co-writer and executive producer.

Electric, darkly funny, and endlessly surprising, The Other Black Girl explores the chaos that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing. Tired of the isolation and microagressions while being the only Black employee at Wagner Books, twenty-six year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. But just as their friendship begins to blossom, 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 those hostile messages, but as Nella begins to spiral, obsess, and ultimately uncover the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.

Harris is no stranger to the publishing industry, having spent close to three years as an editorial assistant at Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House. Described as Devil Wears Prada meets Get OutThe Other Black Girl is a whip-smart commentary perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace. Harris’ writing initiates eye-opening and candid discussions that highlight the microaggressions, racism, and hierarchies that often develop in the workplace, especially in overwhelmingly white industries. Her keynotes and talks invite readers to think about their position in the workplace with a deeper examination on class, privilege, race, and gender.

Prior to working in publishing, Harris received her MFA in creative writing from The New School and her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her essays and book reviews have appeared in Guernica and The Rumpus.

Suggested Topics

  • The Other Black Girl

Raves and Reviews

“Filled with twists both unsettling and unexpected . . . such a timely read.”

– TIME

“A thrilling, edgier Devil Wears Prada that explores privilege and racism.”

– Washington Post

“[A] buzzy debut set in publishing that explores race and class in the workplace.”

– The Guardian

“A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary . . . will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.”

– The Rumpus

“A sly satire and thriller rolled into one.”

– BBC

“A brilliant, twisty, and highly relevant thriller…Perfect for fans of Alyssa Cole’s When No One Is Watching, or Amina Akhtar’s #FashionVictim.”

– Lit Hub

“A big-buzzing, thriller-edged literary debut.”

– Library Journal

“While the plot takes a darker turn into thriller territory, this read is ideal for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or dismissed in the workplace.”

– Fortune

“A can’t-miss title for 2021.”

– Harper’s Bazaar

“We’re going to hear a lot about this book for years to come, and I can’t wait.”

– Goodreads

“Witty, inventive, and smart, The Other Black Girl goes deeper to take on class privilege, race, and gender in a narrative that slyly plays along the edges of convention. Zakiya Dalila Harris’s debut is a brilliant combustion of suspense, horror, and social commentary that leaves no assumption unchallenged and no page unturned.”

– WALTER MOSLEY, internationally bestselling author of Devil in a Blue Dress

“OMG, as the kids say. This is the funniest, wildest, deepest, most thought-provoking ride of a book. I have been Nella. Every black woman has been Nella. Zakiya Dalila Harris has pulled back the curtain on the publishing industry, but in doing so, she has also perfectly captured a social dynamic that exists in job cultures as varied as tech, finance, academia, even retail and fast food. Oh, beware of the ‘OBGs’—Other Black Girls—y’all. As we should all be aware of the psychic cost to black women of making ourselves palatable to institutions that use our cultural cache for their own ends while disregarding any part of our hearts and minds that they either can’t or won’t understand.”

– ATTICA LOCKE, New York Times bestselling author of Heaven, My Home

“Riveting, fearless, and vividly original. This is an exciting debut.”

– EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL, New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Hotel

“An intimate and specific look at the joys and pains of being a Black woman, especially one working in a majority-white industry… The Other Black Girl is hysterical, intimate, and warm—and bristling with dread. Every page pulls you deeper into the nightmare, coiling tighter and tighter until before you know it, there’s no escape.”

– ELISABETH THOMAS, author of Catherine House

“Wise and funny and it does what the best books do—it opens up a whole world of two young Black women in the very white world of publishing, making the narrative both eye-opening social commentary and a delicious thriller. A mega-talented new author who deserves all the buzz building for her now—and every accolade she is surely going to get.”

– CAROLINE LEAVITT, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and With or Without You

“This thriller will be one you won’t be able to put down.”

– Today Show

The Other Black Girl is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Wholly original, powerful, and a gripping page turner. This is the kind of book that turns authors into stars and the readers into rabid fans. I cannot wait to see what Zakiya does next.”

– PHOEBE ROBINSON, bestselling author of You Can’t Touch My Hair

The Other Black Girl is a brilliant, witty, thought-provoking book readers will find hard to put down. Full of twists, Harris has delivered a riveting account of the power dynamics Black women must navigate.”

– MAURICE CARLOS RUFFIN, author of We Cast a Shadow

 

“Electrifying and ingenious, Zakiya Dalila Harris’s The Other Black Girl is essential reading!
– TERRY MCMILLAN, New York Times bestselling author of It’s Not All Downhill From Here

In the Media

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Books by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Other Black Girl

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