PositiveThe Guardian (UK)... imaginative and audacious ... There are moments when The Other Black Girl feels like two novels woven together as one: a satire that uproots the insidious ways race and class merge in office dialogue and politics, and a thriller with echoes of the great science fiction writer Octavia Butler. I wish Harris had been given more room to set up consistent signposts, and to delve more deeply into some of the secondary characters and subplots for greater clarity and balance. But it is true that daring novels often break with form and take chances. Readers should relish this glimpse into the publishing world and its original take on black professional women striving to hold on to their authentic selves and their tresses.
PositiveThe Guardian (UK)...haunting ... There is an abundance of angst over class, gender and race subtly woven into this beguilingly slim novel. Woodson frames each chapter from the point of view of a different character, and the result is a narrative about an individual family that takes on communal urgency and power. She shows her readers how elliptical and obsessive human memory is. The precarious dance between intelligence and emotions makes it difficult to unravel the whole truth because no two characters experience the past in the same way. The past, however, informs their present ... Black women and their sexuality – what is projected on to it; its weight, beauty and ease – are at the heart of Red at the Bone. Woodson seems to understand that there has never been a way for youth or love or desire to play it safe. A young girl’s sexuality is hers to discover, and not her parents’, nor her lovers’, to assume or take away. It is the mystery that keeps unravelling, like blood, truth and memory.