Zakiya Dalila Harris biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Zakiya Dalila Harris
Photo: Nicole Mondestin

Zakiya Dalila Harris

Zakiya Dalila Harris Biography

Zakiya Dalila Harris spent nearly three years in editorial at Knopf/Doubleday before leaving to write her debut novel The Other Black Girl. Prior to working in publishing, Zakiya received her MFA in creative writing from The New School. Her essays and book reviews have appeared in Guernica and the Rumpus. She lives in Brooklyn.

Zakiya Dalila Harris's website

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Interview

Zakiya Dalila Harris talks about her influences, her writing process and her inspiration for writing The Other Black Girl

When and how did you first become interested in writing?

I first fell in love with writing when I fell in love with books at the age of six or seven. I was really into series novels, like Goosebumps and Animorphs and The Series of Unfortunate Events. I'd spend hours curled up in an empty laundry basket filling notebook upon notebook with stories of my own—scary stories, stories about superheroes, stories about girls like me.

I'd also be remiss not to say that my father teaches journalism and had an op-ed column in a Connecticut newspaper for nearly twenty years, so he was often reading my stories, commending and critiquing them, and telling me to keep writing. He also encouraged me by example. I often saw him sit down and write whenever he wasn't teaching, and heard him talk with my mom about the reception of his latest piece at the dinner table. Through him, I had the good fortune of learning early on that it was possible to make a career out of loving what you do.

But perhaps the most tangible turning point for my love of writing was when I came across a writing contest in American Girl magazine at age twelve. I wasn't a particularly competitive or confident kid when it came to most things, but when I saw the ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Zakiya Dalila Harris at BookBrowse
The Other Black Girl jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Zakiya Dalila Harris but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Brit Bennett

    Brit Bennett

    Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett graduated from Stanford University and later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Other Black Girl

    Try:
    The Vanishing Half
    by Brit Bennett

  • Hanna Bervoets

    Hanna Bervoets

    Hanna Bervoets is the author of seven novels in her home country of the Netherlands, and she has also written screenplays, plays, short stories, and essays. She is the recipient of the prestigious Frans Kellendonk Prize for ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Other Black Girl

    Try:
    We Had to Remove This Post
    by Hanna Bervoets

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