Cover Image: Send Her Back and Other Stories

Send Her Back and Other Stories

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I found it extremely refreshing and valuable to read these stories from the perspective of the immigrants that live this experience.  It seems like their voices are forgotten when discussion includes their rights and the treatment they receive by Americans.  I felt that it was really enlightening to see the way these people feel about not only their new land, but there past one.  They are being judged by both lands and found to be lacking in both at many times.  I found these stories to be extremely relevant to our melting pot culture.  I want to read more from this perspective and will encourage others to as well.  Thanks for the ARC, NetGalley and Goodreads.
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This was a strong collection of short stories centered around a female character living in or immigrating from an African country. There are some common themes and experiences among some of the stories, but each also serves to highlight a different perspective within the African diaspora and among immigrant voices. Many of the stories were eye-opening, some were heartbreaking, others were uplifting, all gave me as the reader a lot to think about. I can imagine that even reading a few of these stories would spark discussions in classrooms and in book groups. It's fabulous to see greater diversity in the stories that are published and this set of stories is an important addition to add layers and nuance in mainstream societal perceptions of the immigrant experience especially the African immigrant perspective. 

Many thanks to Mukana Press and NetGalley for the ebook.
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Short stories are always a mixed bag for me. This certainly added to my understanding of immigration for a POC. I had expected many of the Americans to be unwelcoming and unkind, but was shocked by the actions of these women's families and friends. This is an unsettling and confusing read for me. It was hard for me to judge how these choices would haunt and injure them. Interesting writing and subject.
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A thought-provoking anthology set around the experiences of Zimbabwean women in their own country and/or as immigrants in the USA.

The sixteen stories in this collection are all linked in their theme. Each is from a woman’s perspective, each woman is of Zimbabwean background, most have emigrated to the US in hope of a better life, and most are struggling to make ends meet in their new country. The stories are told in a very blunt manner. There’s no beating about the bush, nor is there any attractive façade to cover the darkness underneath. Many stories left me infuriated, sometimes at the characters, sometimes at the situation. 

The writing approach is quite varied, with first person, third person and even second person narratives.  There are plenty of Shona words and phrases in the narrative. (I would have liked a glossary for these. Not all of their meanings were guessable.) The author’s note at the end is worth a read as she details out why so many of the stories are “heartbreaking, harrowing, and hopeless”. 

The commonality of the theme across the tales works both ways. The topic unifies the entire book into an impactful experience, with each story tackling the theme in its own way. The stories feel very authentic too. But after a point, there’s a sense of stagnation coming in as you feel the repetitiveness and the dreariness. Not just because the tales are gloomy but also because the ideas feel recycled across multiple stories at times – scholarship woes, multiple jobs, white peoples’ attitude towards “outsiders”, misogynistic thinking,… To add to it, most of the stories focus only on negative experiences. It becomes very heavy to take in after a point. The anthology would certainly work much better if you don’t read it in one go but spread it out over a few days. 

I read this over the course of a week, and hence the stories clicked well with me, though I neither am an immigrant nor am much aware of Zimbabwean culture and thinking. The straightforward writing was much to my liking, with the well-rounded narratives, the detailed character building and the impactful endings (not necessarily providing closure) delivering an outstanding short story experience.

As always, I rated the stories individually. Of the sixteen stories, eleven reached/crossed the 4 star mark. Most of the rest feel between 3-3.5 stars, with only one story going below 3. My top favourites from this collection were:
Return to the Land of Giant Suns – One of the few positive stories in this book, offered much to think about - 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫
Unseen – A girl seeking attention by acting out. Hardly any time would you see a female character depicted this way. - 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫
Torture in Minnesota – What a snowy winter means to an immigrant. My favourite from this collection. - 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Not So Micro – How you are always an “outsider” because of your skin colour. Loved the intelligence and realism in this story.  - 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫
Dear Aunt Vimbai – The only novella length story, but what character building! Outstanding! - 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫

Definitely an anthology I would recommend. Would work for those interested in knowing about a different culture, reading about feminist/misogynistic issues, or learning about immigrant problems. 

3.9 stars, based on the average of my ratings for the individual stories. 

My thanks to Mukana Press and NetGalley for the DRC of “Send Her Back and Other Stories”. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book.
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This book was HARD. It clawed at my emotions in so many ways. US-born citizens should absolutely read this book because it makes you realize a) how lucky you are to have been born a US citizen and b) that immigrants, whether illegal are legal, are humans and not that different from you.
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Sometimes uneven - sometimes impt - a collection of stories that are mostly new and fresh - how is the American Dream for black female immigrants? Sometimes funny - outrageous and always inspiring
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I've said that I'm not fond of short stories, so here I go reading a book full if them. Well, I'm also slowly reading around the world. That means I'm reading books by foreign authors about foreign lands. For the record, I am a citizen of the United States, so most of the countries on the planet are foreign to me.
The author is a permanent resident in the US. She's from Zimbabwe, a country that used to have a vibrant economy and now doesn't. The stories cover a wide range of issues for the African immigrant, from maintaining a visa to supporting relatives back home. Some of the stories are hopeful. Some are sad. All show a part of the life of the immigrant that we natural citizens don't think about.
I liked the book. It was very insightful reading. I think I gained some knowledge I didn't have before that will change the way I look at the immigrant situation.
I received the copy of the book I read for this review from the publisher on Netgalley.
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Thanks to Mukana Press and NetGalley for the advanced copy!

A collection of 15 short stories about immigrant women from Zimbabwe. Honestly, the first story grabbed me and I couldn’t let it go from there. Each was well-written, and each woman had her own experiences and motivations. Not every story was a happy one, but it felt so real and honest to the experience. These stories discussed the struggles of immigration, racism, misogyny, and identity among many other intersections. It’s sad to think that this is still a reality today.

This is the kind of book I’d recommend if I were trying to explain to someone the differences between the African & African-American struggle. Solid 5 star read, and I recommend it to anyone who wants a deeper insight into the realities of being a Black woman in America.
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This is the kind of book that will make you uneasy by shining a harsh light on simple but devastating truths that many people have to face daily. It's not an easy book to read, but I'm glad I read it and I think it's the kind of book that more people should be reading. It might rattle readers, but it will also make them think and reflect on the situation many immigrants find themselves in and how awful they're treated by the vast majority of the population. 
My one complaint is that some of the stories ramble on for longer than needed. I'm aware that this is all on me as the quiet desperation of immigrants fighting for every little piece of success and comfort only to have it taken away from them with inconsiderate ease makes for some very important if uncomfortable reads. I'm walking away from this thinking that there's basically no hope for a huge swath of the population as they fight not only the prejudice and injustice in America but the massive pressure and resentment back home. 
Overall, a harsh yet important read that opens the reader's eyes to harsh realities in a way that will hopefully engender empathy.

Happy thanks to NetGalley and Mukana Press for the enlightening read!
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Send Her Back and Other Stories is a short story collection with the theme of  back women immigrants   working to build a new life gor themselves and their families in America where non-whites are treated with  such hate.   (immigrant blacks/women are treated even worse and many  racist types rant against minorities demanding they go back where they came from, even ones who are born here,.  There is this fear that immigrants sre "taking   their jobs and sre all criminals not to be trusted.  The 16 stories of  Send Her Back and Other Stories covers the experiences of black American immigrants very well.  Most are from Zimbabwe and others are still there  but most have come to America already and have to deal with  the realities living in a country where its citizens are less than welcoming, with kobs that barely pay enough for them to live in their sub-standard apartments and have to follow so many rules and regulations to stay here. The American dream becomes an American nightmare for many and there were more than one character in these stories expressed their wish to end their lives. 

There is not much "feel good" in tte stories and I would not expect there be, but there were a few who managed to  break through and survive. There are some scenes that made me smile but more often I found myself  in tears for these people who saved their money  to come here to find a new life that wasn't much better than their home country.

Everyone should be reading there stories in book clubs, sociology classes, and for Black History Month
 The book collection is brilliant. 
Thank you NetGalley and  Mukana Press for  offering.me a free copy of the book. I loved it and freely give my honest opinion here.
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I'm not sure when I last read a book of stories, but I'm glad I read this one.  This was a moving, and at times eye-opening, collection detailing various aspects of the immigrant experience, from dealing with snow and cold, to trying to support a family back home, to visiting home after years abroad, to dealing with stereotypes and other forms of ignorance.  

The stories I found most moving were Send Her Back, about an under-appreciated healthcare worker, The Collector of Degrees, about trying to stay in the country legally through an endless stream of educational courses, Ghost of My Mother, about a child custody battle, and The Zimbabwean Dream about the demands of family on one trying to support them from abroad.

This was not an easy read, as many of the stories were quite sad, at least at times, but it was certainly a worthwhile read, and I would be interested to read more by this author.
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A book of short stories, this covered a lot of serious topics, most notably the immigrant experience and misogyny. Because of the difficult topics broken into short stories, it was not as engaging as it might have been as a novel, but the writing was very good. I read the ebook and listened to the audiobook. The narration was fine but it was hard to tell when one story ended and the next began--they just ran together. Recommended for a different perspective for many readers.
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These short stories bring to life the immigrant experiences of people, mostly women, from the African country of Zimbabwe. Many of the stories highlight the horrible mess that is the US’ immigration system: one story focuses on a perpetual student with multiple degrees, because that’s the only way she can stay in the US; another story has a paper marriage as the backdrop, necessary for the woman to be able to stay in the US after dropping out of college; and so forth. Another story demonstrates the misogyny built into both the Zimbabwean culture and the US, featuring a highly educated woman in the tech field, being treated like she’s nobody by her new coworkers and another with a father in Zimbabwe totally ignoring his daughter in favor of his two sons, leading her to resort to rebellious behavior just to get her father’s attention.

I was sucked into these stories and really enjoyed them, but the endings of many of them was a bit sudden. I wanted to know more! What happened next to these people I had grown to care about?

Thank you to NetGalley and Mukana Press for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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As soon as I saw the title for Send Her Back and Other Stories, I recalled the horrible chants against Representative Ilhan Omar at a Trump rally in 2019. They were racist, xenophobic, and filled with hate. Sadly, this negative view of immigrants – especially those of color or who are Muslim – is widespread in America. Indeed, according to the author’s note, that 2019 event is part of what sparked the idea for the titular story in this collection. It and the other stories show the often ugly truth of what it can be like for immigrants.

Across 16 stories, we get to see what Zimbabwean women face in America. Some of the characters are university students, others are undocumented immigrants. Some live with their family in the U.S., others send money home to loved ones still in Zimbabwe. The stories span career, love, family, and a tenuous sense of belonging in a country and culture so different than what they grew up with.

In truth, many of these stories are harrowing. They paint a very real picture of the struggles immigrants can go through. Overt racism and micro-aggressions alike can add up; navigating the dating world and getting into interracial relationships can be disappointing. Some characters are well-off financially, but others work 80 hours a week, sending money back to their family, and still can’t get by. Some characters struggle with how much they’ve changed since leaving Zimbabwe and how their husband doesn’t seem to fit in their life anymore.

While I appreciated those stories – painfully eye-opening as they were – my favorite stories were the ones that took place in Africa. In “Return to the Land of the Giant Suns,” a woman who’s been living in North Dakota returns to Harare, Zimbabwe. She experiences reverse culture shock, both with how her family behaves and with the country’s culture overall. In “Globe-Trotter,” a Zimbabwean woman, who’s become successful in America, is visiting her cousin in Mozambique. She, too, experiences a kind of reverse culture shock, feeling offended at the way some men treat her. She later travels to Ecuador and has a new revelation. “Dear Aunt Vimbai” is perhaps the most rooted in Zimbabwe, following a girl as she comes of age. Her only connection to America is her Aunt Vimbai, with whom she exchanges frequent letters.

The stories set in Africa were generally lighter in tone – at least somewhat! Only a few of the stories set in the United States ended on a hopeful note. In general, I enjoyed the happier and more optimistic stories the most. Even so, the heavier stories make me really feel for immigrants and people of color, and I wish they could have happier, easier lives. My hope is that this collection with be thought-provoking for American (especially white American) readers and inspire more kindness in how they treat others.

Send Her Back and Other Stories is a heartfelt, candid, and unflinching mosaic of the immigrant experience in America, especially for women who emigrated from Zimbabwe. It offers cultural insights, examinations of career and money, and depictions of family and romance, all from a range of angles and perspectives. While it is often somber and difficult, it’s also beautifully written and inspires empathy and understanding.
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This is an insightful, timely collection of stories centering on the experiences of a myriad of Zimbabwean women of varying ages from differing socio-economic and educational backgrounds.  The other "isms" - colorism, sexism, racism - also come into play in both overt and covert circumstances in and out of their homes, businesses, schools/universities, and work environments. These women, while studying and working in the US, experience discrimination/racism/prejudice, microaggressions, and (in most cases) the losing side of immigration and naturalization politics.  Personally, I found the stories which dabbled in culture/identity, assimilation (to and from the US), and the sacrifices surrounding the pursuit of the "American Dream" are most heartfelt and engaging.  I enjoyed them all, but these stood out to me:

Return To The Land of Giant Suns – a woman returns to visits and remarks that although five years abroad, her parents appeared to have aged 15, while the city seems to have aged 20. I found her challenges and difficulties to re-assimilate, the need to dispel stereotypes and inaccuracies (on both sides) caused by what was promoted in the media about African and the US extremely insightful.  I learned about the plight of Zimbabwe as a country and the residents struggling with a collapsed economy, corrupt politics, and failing infrastructure and institutions.

The Collector of Degrees – just wow – in this story, I was floored by the rules and regulations surrounding student visas and the ramifications it has on immigrants!  There is just no winning in this scenario!!  I did not know what I did not know!

Not So Micro – explores preconceived notions, microaggressions, and presumptions even amongst the "progressive liberals" at a dinner party in Palo Alto, CA, and my heart felt for Rudo in The Zimbabwean Dream – the expectations and obligations placed on the one who goes abroad to provide for family who remains "home," is utterly unbelievable and stressful beyond belief.

An enjoyable offering despite the somewhat depressing, oppressive vibe that is woven in many of the stories. 

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an opportunity to review.
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A wonderful collection of short stories about female immigrants from Zimbabwe. Their experiences, goals, and aspirations are explored.  The discrimination and obstacles they had to overcome was, at times, overwhelming. These stories give voice to the treatment black people, in particular women, receive daily in the United States. Seemingly innocuous comments and voiced misconceptions can be hurtful and insensitive.  Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read and review an advance copy of this book.
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This collection will captivate you as you start reading. “Send Her Back” is just one of twelve riveting tales centering around women who immigrated to the U.S. from Zimbabwe. In that specific title, a young woman who has just been accepted into medical school is in fear of being deported.

But each of these works of fiction is so different from one another. Some elaborate on cultural differences. One woman doesn’t understand issues of race in America. She wants to stand out, so she becomes a Trump supporter. After working in the U.S., another woman goes back home to visit family and realizes that even though she misses her homeland, she and the country have changed. A U.S green card holder from Zimbabwe visits Mozambique and gets a big culture shock. Some of the women who experience bad behavior from their American boyfriends, incorrectly chock it up to cultural differences.

Some stories are so heart wrenching that you’ll think about them for days. One woman works four jobs and sleeps in her car, just so she can send money to her ungrateful family. In another story, a single mother can’t relate to her American-born teenager who thinks life would be better in another family.

One story that may seem familiar is the adult who arrived in the U.S. at the age of five but can only stay if she remains a student. This is a problem in the U.S., and the author personalizes it by adding depth and nuance as she does with every story.

There’s the abused wife who anxiously awaits the death of her elderly Zimbabwean husband. A successful stockbroker sends home for her husband only to be humiliated by him once he arrives. Then there’s the cold Minnesota winter that acts an abusive partner. These stories take place in diverse American states and cities, such as North Dakota, Indiana, San Francisco, and Baltimore.

Though these women may live lives quite dissimilar to your own, you’ll find certain aspects that you can relate to. The characters are painted with color and emotion and are very real. 

 These stories are so engaging that you can’t wait to discover what events the next one unfolds.

(This review will be posted on UnderratedReads on its release date of July 25, 2022)
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This book contains a collection of short stories about young women from Zimbabwe. Several themes are explored, including: discrimination, racism, immigration and sexism. The book is well written and weaves together many different stories in a very seamless way. The author handles difficult issues with the perfect mix of straightforward descriptions and careful sensitivity. I would definitely recommend this book. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Let me begin by saying that I really enjoyed the way this book managed to reflect so many different migration experiences and difficulties, through different short stories, all featuring Zimbabwean women perspectives and the hardships of living as an immigrant in the USA. 
It was really interesting to read about the cultural shock and learn about the Zimbabwean culture, about characters that were flawed and with different opinions and social backgrounds. I loved the narration, and I specially enjoyed how every story featured at least some phrases in shona.
I would definitely recommend it, mainly because I felt like this book helped me grow, shifted my view of the world, and taught me about a culture I didn't know and about some of the drawbacks of living as an African immigrant in the United States.
I really enjoyed how every short story managed to show incredible plot and character development, and the way this book showed how so many different people can share hardships and also be so different and have completely different experiences, because life is like that too.
The idea of portraying realistic stories and discuss political issues in a fiction book is so interesting and not many books manage to do that while keeping the reader interested in the plot, but Send her back and other stories really did just that
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This is a collection of short stories about American women who have immigrated from Zimbabwe. Each one is a unique glimpse into the struggles and triumphs these women face in the US. One is a physicist who isn’t taken seriously by the white men she works with. Another hides her developing body for fear of becoming a woman on the receiving end of unwanted attention from men. There’s the college dropout who ends up living in her car just so she can send money home to her family. Or the woman whose husband can’t stand that she’s successful. Or the need for an endless collection of degrees to keep a student visa. 

I found each story affected me in such different ways. As a female, I can certainly relate to many of the women’s stories but they are also unique to the African women from Zimbabwe. They are completely different from American black women yet are often lumped as “African” without the distinction of which country they are from. These stories are short in length but deep in their message. Females, immigrants, BIPOC can all relate to these stories. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Mukana Press for this advance readers e-copy. The novel will be available on 7/25/22.  This review can be found on IG @maria.needs.to.read and on Goodreads
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