The Other Black Girl
April 22, 2023 6:19 AM - Subscribe

Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve 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. Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW. It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.

(Summary from the publisher.)
posted by The corpse in the library (2 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I started this knowing nothing about it other than that the cover had caught my eye in the library. Because of that I was a bit uncertain what was going on -- is it set in a world where witchcraft is real? Is this horror? Can I trust the narrator? Is this going to be too tense for me?

Those all turned out to be reasonable questions.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:23 AM on April 22

I just finished this and I'm still not sure if I liked it. There were definitely aspects that were good, but then the last quarter of the book takes a sudden swerve (being a little vague to avoid spoilers as this is one of the first comments here). At that point I started to question whether I'd been reading the book correctly. It sort of seems to be a satire, in hindsight, somewhat in the vein of Sorry to Bother You? But it didn't have the usual trappings of satire, and for most of the book it seems to be presenting uncomfortable but extremely believable situations, versus situations where the absurdity is heightened for comedic effect.
posted by whir at 5:33 PM on April 23

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