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Zakiya Dalila Harris Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Other Black Girl (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Zakiya Dalila Harris is a literary fiction author best known for “The Other Black Girl,” her debut novel. The novel which was published in 2021 has been optioned by Hulu to be made into a movie by Temple Entertainment and Tara Duncan. The novel has been marketed as a “Get Out” by Jordan Peel colliding with corporate America. It is a psychological thriller and at the same time a satirical work that provides insights into the racism, micro aggressions and other struggles of Black people in workspaces that are overwhelmingly white.

Dalila Harris went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from where she graduated with her bachelor’s in English Literature. She then attended The New School from where she graduated with a creative writing MFA, majoring in nonfiction writing. While she did her MFA, she did several internships including at an indie press and for a documentary film series while still working for a pie shop. Once she was done with her MFA, she got a job at “The Rumpus” where she wrote book reviews. Several months later, she moved to Penguin Random House where she had been hired as full time editorial assistant. She worked for two editors in nonfiction and fiction and got to see and learn the process of publicization and editing of books first hand. A few months later, she was made assistant editor but she was thinking that it was time she completed her novel, which was a dream she knew was impossible while she held a job in publishing. She quit and went to work in a cake shop while also working part time as children’s creative writing teacher. She was also still doing book reviews and editing freelance while working on her novel.

For Zakiya Dalila Harris the experiences after she quit working in publishing houses were some of the most invaluable for her career. Working as freelance editor she decided which books she wanted to work on and for the most part worked on literature by Black Women. As a children’s teacher, she was responsible for showing them how much fun writing stories could be. These were a great reminder of why she had fallen in love with writing all those years past and motivated her to complete her manuscript. Much of “The Other Black Girl” was inspired by her time working in the publishing industry. She used to earn entry level pay which meant a long commute, roommates, a side hustle and financial assistance if she was to live in New York City. This meant that anyone without at least one or several of these things was shut out of the publishing industry. She also had to face up to the lack of diversity in the industry. Combining all of the travails of a ton of grunt work, uncertainty over promotion and low pay applied to a Black person made everything more challenging. Many times she was the only black person at conference tables and this can really get to one.

Dalila Harris gets a lot of her work done in coffee shops and then goes home to relax. However, she sometimes gets some work done at home even though she tries her best to keep the nights free and work during the mornings and afternoons. Keeping her personal life separate from work life has always been hard given that so many of her experiences as a Black person are recounted in her work. As such, when she is working on something, it can sometimes feel very personal. While she is inspired by her experiences, she has also said that she finds inspiration in the push for people to buy, read and publish works authored by black people. She also likes the “Black Lives Matter” protests and often attends whenever they are held in New York. When she is not working she loves to people watch, got to themed dance parties and bars, and hang with friends. She also listens to true crime and history podcasts and watches movies. She also reads a lot including book reviews.

“The Other Black Girl” by Zakiya Dalila Harris is “The Devil Meets Prada” combined with “Get Out.” At the start of the story, Nella Rodger a twenty six year old editorial assistant is tired of Wagner Books where she is the only Black employee. She does not like the micro aggressions and isolation and is thrilled when Hazel a Harlem born and bred woman is hired. They just began becoming friends when Hazel becomes Office Darling after a series of uncomfortable events. Nella is all alone once again and starts getting threatening notes asking her to leave Wagner or else… She cannot believe Hazel is responsible for the messages. But as she begins to obsess over who could be responsible and goes into a downward spiral, she realized that at stake is her career and much more.

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