I mean, it's really cool to hear you say that. But this post is about the marketers. The microaggressions are constant and exhausting and we can see the toll it takes on Nella. Here's what our book club members thought about Colleen Oakley's latest novel. Whatever she does next might seem quieter, but watch for it: It will be brilliant. Also, way too many plot lines were introduced and unfinished. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, awardwinning novelist, who, to everyones surprise, shows up in New York. At one point, Nella describes the drama about a junior staffer getting their own office (rather than an open cubicle) and I laughed to myself because I definitely remember discussions like that happening back in the day. Dayanara Diaz, once a sweet girl who liked drawing pictures of anime characters, has been thoroughly transformed by the end of Orange is the New Black. I felt numb. To give you an idea of just how buzzy The Other Black Girl is, consider this: There was a 14-way bidding war among publishing houses to land the book, leading to a reported seven-figure deal for Harris. The latest entry in MacLean's 'Hell's Belles' universe is a delightfully feminist twist on Regency-era romance romps. Theres this short story by Stephen King called The Man Who Loved Flowers, about this man walking through the city who seems so happy and so in love. It makes black people amendable when it comes to working with white people and removes any guilt. What did you think as you read that reveal? The Prologue opens in Manhattan in December 1983 as an unnamed narrator, later revealed to be Kendra Rae Phillips, flees New York City in terror. Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Alsoyou have to stop calling everything under the umbrella of race horrorGet Out. And, to me, thats the beauty of this book. Unlike many novels about contemporary American Black life which celebrate the longstanding African American upper classes, Harris's book doesn't hesitate to call out the patriarchal distinctions upon which those upper classes also rest. What are your thoughts about the epilogue? The Other Black Girl follows 26 year old Nella Rogers, who is the only black editorial assistant at Wagner Publishing. On what Nella faces every day at Wagner books. that put people in situations that seem really everyday and then get weirder and weirder and weirder. I enjoyed it when I started, but it beat me down. The genius ofGet Outis that there is no good white person in the entire film. I loved how the first thing Nella realized about Hazel was the smell of the Brown Buttah hair product. However, it soon becomes clear that Hazel is not focused on new friendships. Do you think that the idea of not being able to put that feeling of racism into words is something Black readers will relate to? Thats interesting that you mention the weight of Blackness because isn't that essentially what the grease is supposed to lift? It started as a slow burn as Nellas life as the only Black person at Wagner Books was described. Review: The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris, Interview with Amy Mason Doan, Author of Lady Sunshine. Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Another Country is a 1962 novel by James Baldwin.The novel is primarily set in Greenwich Village and Harlem, New York City, in the late 1950s.It portrayed many themes that were taboo at the time of its release, including bisexuality, interracial couples and extramarital affairs Original Price $18.00". Why didnt I think of this myself? She also launched and managed the sites virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Plus, it's a 352-page book whose plot starts to kick off at the last 32 pages." ', Harriss debut novel is unique and creative, it defies being categorized into just one genre. Plot Summary Nella Rogers is an editorial assistant at Wagner Publishing, one of the biggest and most prestigious publishers. I worked to make sure that we understood her insecurities and how Hazel stirs them up about not being Black enough and about Nellas desire to be the next big Black editor. Nella knows that her comfortable yet dull middle-class upbringing doesn't offer her the same advantages as Hazel's cushier background. The best twists are ones that feel, in retrospect, almost inevitable. (@tbretc), A post shared by SP - bookstagram (@booksnailmail), A post shared by Deborah (She/Her) (@lifeaholocislander), A post shared by joy melody| Reader.Advocate. Both Colin and her boss gets offended and defensive. She is really the millennial who is speaking out. Part 1 ends on a cliffhanger: Is Nellas career at Wagner, like Kendra Raes, now over? Theyve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust. Why did Diana work with Imani on distributing the hair grease? Its a commentary on race-relations, and challenges what it means to lobby for and ensure diversity in the workplace, all while keeping you guessing at what will happen next. Review: Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this novel! She works extremely hard and is very dilligent, breaking through her boss's icy exterior and spending extra time on 'diversity' initiatives at her work. Thank you! From being able to tell whos walking by from their footsteps to the impromptu conversations some people thrive on, I was taken right back into the office. And I knew that I wanted my protagonist, Nella, to fail. 2023 Cond Nast. Read an excerpt from the bookhere (opens in new tab). They can't exactly put into words what it is, but there's a feeling. Harris, who worked as an editorial assistant at Alfred A. Knopf publishing house in Manhattan, draws together elements of literary realism and science fiction horror to deliver a novel in which office politics breed paranoia and natural haircare products condition more than dreadlocks. Women, Black women especially, arent allowed to get dark there are many amazing writers doing this work, but its not mainstream. to support our journalism and get unlimited access to our coverage. I think at this point everybody knows that's not the thing you say. The negative reviews Ive seen of this book (most by white women, some by Black women) are [that it's a] let down because it wasnt the drama-filled, fast-paced story like the book referenced. And the endthere's just so many places it could go if the story and the show were to [continue]. While it is clever and important to talk about the fact that token diversity representation breeds unnecessary competition among people of color since there can only be one winner, this is not at all what Peeles brand of horror is about. Glamour: The story is so original. @smileitsjoy, A post shared by joy melody| Reader.Advocate. 2023 Met Gala Carpet Is Approved by Your Dentist. " @calicoedit, A post shared by Ally | Fiction Editor (@calicoedit) (opens in new tab). But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that theres a lot more at stake than just her career. Now that the game is out, we know Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has a post-credits scene for players to watch. Really intriguing and very original, with some interesting twists that make you question the price of progress and cost of sacrifice in order to get ahead." I fortunately did not have it nearly as bad as Nella does. The band have become the very thing their critics accuse them of. What started out as a slow-burn psychological thriller, morphed into a Jordan Peele-esque social thriller, and I am here for it. Part 1 foreshadows a similar fate for protagonist Nella Rogers, an editorial assistant and the only Black woman who works at Wagner in 2018. It was still early on in the querying stage, but it definitely got to me and made me worry. Having another Black girl around doesnt mean an instant ally. I agree and I like when Nella is trying to explain that its a feeling. Industry professionals are tweeting their support of guild members. @suzylew_bookreview, A post shared by Suzy Lew (@suzylew_bookreview) (opens in new tab). Nella and Hazel are at the center of Zakiya Dalila Harris's debut novel The Other Black Girl (full disclosure: Harris is the sister of our own Aisha Harris, one of the hosts of Pop Culture Happy Hour). TOBGexplores the dynamics between Nella, a talented young Black woman vying for a promotion to editor, and Hazel-May, a newcomer. "I definitely had really high expectations for this book and my feelings about it went on a bit of a rollercoaster ride as I was reading it. Why did Nella eventually take the social lubricant? Read an excerpt from Danielle Prescod's new memoir, here, then dive in with us throughout the month. I also love the Black character in [fictional novel] Needles and Pins, Shartricia. You might be able to guess what happens next. That's a hard question. Hes the only one left. The Other Black Girl (Atria) by Zakiya Dalila Harris debuted at #6 on The New York Times bestseller list in its first week on sale, and it's no wonder: The book is spot-on for our times.The novel drips with in-the-know wit, skewering "well-meaning" but clueless white book publishing executives while painting the day-to-day experience of BIPOC employees who have managed to penetrate the . Someone mentioned to me recently, I thought this was going to be about two Black women being friends and having fun. Its like, Sorry, my bad. Todays biggest stories, from pop culture to politicsdelivered straight to your inbox. Nella escapes, but the following day at an important meeting, Nella realizes that Hazel has converted their guest of honor, a famous Black activist. Did you think it was an interesting plot twist or did you not like it? It's not a coincidence that the central conceit of the. She's the drug kingpin of Litchfield and addicted to drugs herself, and to make matters worse she recruits her 13 year-old sister, Eva, to help smuggle drugs into the prison. 5-Down, Eight Letters: Show that gave us New New York. So much of this book isnt fiction; being a cis-white female afforded white-privilege, I dont presume to assume I even remotely know what it is like to live in the everyday reality of a person of color, but I believe this mirrors the unacceptable reality that people of color face every day in and out of the workplace. Rent. 2K views, 27 likes, 7 loves, 18 comments, 0 shares, Facebook Watch Videos from Dbstvstlucia: DBS MORNING SHOW & OBITUARIES 25TH APRIL 2023 APRIL 2023 No. It made the ending easier to write: What ultimately transforms her wasnt a pill Nella had to take. "'Shed committed one of the real ultimate sins by trying to be herself: Black. Hazel (as she becomes known) is in it to win it, all by her fabulous self (her look, Nella thinks, "was all very Erykah-meets-Issa"), and before Nella can say "cocoa butter," Hazel has scooped her on a manuscript and is spending long closed-door sessions with their shared editor boss. @scsreads, A post shared by Nnenna (@scsreads) (opens in new tab). Its original, complicated, humorous, scary, sad and engaging. Hazel dismisses Nellas concerns, gives her a jar of Smoothd Out hair grease as a peace offering, and invites her to a natural hair party. Still, that didn't hinder the amount of praise Harris received for her ability to create an original and deeply relatable novel. Exactly. And I realized I wasnt feeling the thriller aspect of the story. Yeah. I loved when we found out Hazels locs were fake. Thats people being people. Shes driven and determined to make her mark in the publishing industry and tries not to let the microaggressions and outright racism of her colleagues at times weigh her down. A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist. Your ultimate guide to the (arguably) best film genre: the romantic comedy. I mean, it really goes into my own ideas that I have about I mean, it's not only publishing, I think it's a lot of industries that are mostly white where we commodify Blackness, where you only need this one version of this thing for this one purpose. I knew that hair would be the thing that connected Nella to Hazel because Nella had a really complicated relationship with her hair, just like I did. One, the mis-execution of satire to call out racism in publishing. You can order the book on Amazon here. Visibly fatigued by the racist microaggressions of her white colleagues, Kendra Rae rehearses the comments she will voice in her infamous interview. 'The Other Black Girl' In This New Thriller May Not Be Your Friend.