Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Five unconventional office novels

Tania Malik was born in New Delhi and raised in India, Africa, and the Middle East. She was educated in boarding schools in the foothills of the Himalayas and graduated from the University of Delhi with a degree in Geography. She has had a varied career in the travel marketing and non-profit industries. Her first novel Three Bargains received a Publishers Weekly starred review and a Booklist starred review.

[Coffee with a Canine: Tania Malik & Deuce]

At Lit Hub Malik tagged five "unconventional work novels that remind us of the way things once were, offer alternatives to the way we approach our jobs and, perhaps, spur us onward to new horizons." One title on the list:
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

The arrival of a new editorial assistant at the publishing company where Nella works is a welcome event for her as she will no longer be the only Black girl in the office. At first, they bond over their cultural similarities but her initial excitement wanes as there is something off about her new colleague. Not only does she make Nella question her own abilities, but the new girl acts and speaks in ways to make herself more palatable to their white coworkers and bosses. As a commentary on the conundrum foisted upon people of color who often end up downplaying their core identities to assimilate and function in white-dominated workspaces, the reveal at the end will make you wonder what choice you would make if you were in Nella’s place.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Other Black Girl is among Stephanie Feldman's seven novels featuring ambitious women, Caitlin Barasch’s seven novels set in the literary world, and Ashley Winstead's seven titles that explore collective guilt & individual complicity.

--Marshal Zeringue