Send Her Back and Other Stories
by Munashe Kaseke
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Pub Date 25 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 31 Jul 2022
In Send Her Back and other stories, Munashe Kaseke offers an awfully intimate, fresh telling of the immigrant experience of black women in the United States. Equally awash with the joys of exploring a new world as well as a myriad of challenges, her complicated, and often tangled, female Zimbabwean protagonists navigate issues of identity, microaggressions, and sexism in vibrant, indelible settings. Yet again, these are not only stories of navigating an at times tense US political climate, they are also marked by characters who rise to the top of their professional fields, seize the American dream, and travel the world in glee. Kaseke peels back on the inner wranglings of characters caught between two worlds, be it by stories of dating outside one’s culture and race or failing to assimilate upon returning home after spending time abroad.
Uncanny. Witty. Gripping. Send Her Back and other stories dazzles, leaving you newly awakened to the world we live in.
“Readers will be swept away by Kaseke’s skillful portrayals of overcoming adversity. Her characters are equal turns brilliant, inspiring, and mistreated, their stories wrapped into bite-sized offerings that will open readers’ eyes to the layered nuances of immigrant life in America. From learning to survive with immense self-sacrifice to navigating unfamiliar relationships and battling sexism, Kaseke’s Zimbabwean women leave a lasting impression…” Booklife by Publisher’s Weekly
“I couldn’t wait to start another story once I was done with one. ‘Send Me Back and Other Stories’ gave me an extremely rewarding reading experience and I found myself going back to some stories to understand the concepts better, as I mined the nuances hidden across the pages…” Lily Andrews, ReaderViews
“The easy charm and high quality of Kaseke’s writing are reason enough to pick up this book, but the real reason to pick it up and read it all the way through is that she has a knack for telling a compelling tale.” Jo Niederhoff , Portland Book Review
“This is certainly an author to watch out for. The clear prose and interweaving storylines are both eye-catching and beautifully written…”Jenna Swartz, Manhattan Book Review
“Sharp and incisive short stories that interrogate the varied experiences and cultural quandaries that stem from being a Zimbabwean immigrant in America.” Independent Book Review
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Publisher: Mukana Press, 1200 Franklin Mall, Box 459, Santa Clara, CA, 95050
ISBN:Paperback:978-0-578-35312-8 Hardcover:978-0-578-32358-9 Epub:978-0-578-32359-6
Publication Date: July 25, 2022
Price: US $17.95 -paperback, US $26.89 -Hardcover
Genre: Fiction, Short Story Collection, Multicultural
Page count: 204
Available from: Ingram
Media or Appearance queries: email@example.com
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 36 members
This was a very important read. I found the writing to be pretty quick and easy which is good. As a white person, I will never fully understand what POC have to go through… This book did help me understand a little bit more, and realize just a smidge of what they go through. It was an important and powerful read.
Send Her Home and Other Stories by Munashe Kaseke captures the raw human experience that falls upon many immigrants in the United States, especially women. The fifteen stories included in this title highlights just how distinct each experience is for newcomers in a country, and the reader is often left with a deep pang in their chest while they grapple with the struggles and, sometimes, joys of creating a new life elsewhere. Kaseke does a superb job of creating stories that push back against comments too often thrown at immigrants, such as "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps," "If you work hard and are determined, you will get it," amongst others. In every single story, the reader understands more of what people sacrifice when they depart from their homeland to reside in another country.
In addition to the stories and characters told, this collection is harrowingly beautiful for the stylistic choices that Kaseke makes to draw the reader in deeper. Kaseke's decision to alternate the narrative voice from first, second, and third enlivens the book even more, and the narrative choices enhance the storytelling. In "The Collector of Degrees," as well as in "Torture in Minnesota," Kaseke uses second person to pull the reader in creating a "lived experience," and this heightens the story as it is not an experience that many have encountered nor understood until exposed from this angle. In other stories, such as "Not So Subtleties" and "Territorial," Kaseke beautifully interweaves the politics of the day with every day racist occurrences that white folks overlook or neglect to acknowledge. Supporting these narrative focuses and shifts was the decision to incorporate Shona and Zimbabwean expressions without a direct translation. This decision captured how the characters were feeling and provided an extra layer of authenticity that otherwise would seem forced.
Overall, Send Her Back and Other Stories was a well done collection that captures the questions we all ask ourselves whenever we set upon something new-- "Is this decision, this change, worth it and will it really benefit me in the long run?" It is that focus that binds the work together and it is one that kept me reading late in to the night.
Send Her Back and Other Stories is a collection of short stories addressing the particular experiences of Zimbabwean women immigrating to the United States. Each story is unique, yet connected, as we learn of the many challenges these women face from understanding racism in the U.S., to the expectations of the family left behind, to the anti-immigration activists protesting “send her back”, to the endless circle of an education visa.,
In “The Collector of Degrees” we learn of the difficulties a family faces when the father, who brought his family to the U.S. on his education visa, can't find work after earning his PhD. The mother can't work on the visa. In order to stay in the U.S. he must continue to be a student, obtaining one degree after another. In the title story, politics are woven into the story when a woman just accepted into a U.S. medical school, is horrified to see her own experiences aimed at an American Citizen when she sees a video of a white crowd chanting at this Congresswoman, “Send Her Back!“. In “Not So Subtleties” a Zimbabwean woman, educated in the U.S., struggles with Americans who are too lazy to learn the correct pronunciation of her name and try to give her to an unwanted nickname. She become frustrated with other people’s ignorant assumptions about anything on the continent of Africa and is insulted by their insulting assumptions that she must be an illegal immigrant, in need a job when, in fact, she is a successful Physician.
The stories are diverse, interesting and informative. I’ve always admired the strength of people who immigrant to a country with different languages and customs still, this book is a real wake-up call. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Thank you to #NetGalley and #MukanaPress for this advanced copy of Send Her Back in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Publication Date: July 25, 2022
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Take 15 women who’ve immigrated to the United States from Zimbabwe and observe the way 15 lives look nothing alike. And then the subtle ways their experiences are similar.
These short stories cover a lot of territory. The protagonists are all women who’ve immigrated to the United States from Zimbabwe, most of them mix with the education system in some way. And yet, as tempting as it is to assume their experiences will all be roughly the same, they are all so very different. A single mother raising a 14 year old daughter. A mail order bride? (Implied but not stated.) A perpetual student. A soon-to-be widow. So many others. If you enjoy reading in order to see how other people experience life, add this to your shelf.
While each protagonist’s situation is unique, as a whole, they share common threads of experience. Not fitting in. Family expectations. The US visa and immigration system. Weird and insensitive shit people say to them. The meeting of two cultures. Isolation and loneliness. A feeling of never being quite enough for anyone. There is constant tension in these stories, which is to say, the pages practically turn themselves.
That being said, there isn’t a lot of happiness here. In most of the stories, the main characters are primarily interacting with people who are hurting them in some way. And I totally respect the choice to focus on these stories, I can see how they serve a purpose, but it also almost implies by omission that a happy life cannot exist for these women. I don't think that was the intent, and I still enjoyed and appreciated the stories.
Overall, an enjoyable collection of short stories.
Wow,better than i thought.
So i requested for this arc because of the cover and as my first arc, i seriously didn’t know what to expect but im glad this was my first to start with.im not the biggest fan of short stories but this one really made me wonder if I should start reading short stories.
I’ll be very honest,the front part of the story was too slow paced for my liking and while i loved most of the stories and characters,there were some parts i just wanted to skip but i knew it may be a crucial part to the character’s development(since the story is short,if i just skip maybe I’ll miss out on something important).
this story revolves around the lives of different black females in the states,struggling to survive and to be accepted by the community,the pressure they are under to do well in a foreign country,how many of them are either not welcomed at home or just have no way to go back anymore because everyone is waiting for them to do well.America,the land of dreams…also the place where the dreams of many people are crushed .as a person of colour,im fortunate im not a us citizen because I don’t have to undergo all of this shit just to work and earn money.but unfortunately,i still see all those racist remarks,casual or not everywhere…”freedom of speech”is the excuse people use to say whatever they want(including very mean comments)I seriously cannot imagine what the immigrants have to go though ?.This book seriously made me realise how severe racism is ??(mostly in the states cuz everyone’s just in love with the country and all that but don’t ever seem to notice this problem) And urm unfortunately ,how tough it is for someone that’s not white to cope with the life in that country as a minority.
by the way,I really enjoyed the writer’s style of writing like 95% of the time,it was pretty easy to understand her words,how simple the writing is and yet how complicated the issue she is writing about is,the contrast is seriously amazing.(and this is her debut novel !!I think I’m already looking forward to her next book)
maybe I’ll actually reread this title,it really gave me a much deeper understanding of the life of a poc in the states and yea I’m glad to have picked it up
This is a great collection of short stories. They share a common overall plot: single female comes to America from Zimbabwe to stake out a professional career but gets stymied by having to support family/husband/etc back home. The fish-out-of-water scenarios are all cleverly constructed, and given the similarity to the author's own experience, ring very true. She manages to highlight the many misconceptions Americans -- particularly white Americans -- have about people with her background. One of the stories she mentions how she came from a major urban area and not "a National Geographic village" and the child of two professionals. Even with the similar POV the stories aren't repetitive and are fresh and interesting situations. Highly recommended.
I requested this ARC because the title caught my attention and while wholly different than what I normally read (not really a short stories person), these stories caught and held my attention. Both similar and different to one another, they tell the stories of different women who have left their familial homes.in Zimbabwe to come to America. Each story stands alone but together they weave a bigger story of what it is like to start anew. I felt that each story has it's own voice and told it's own truths. They were honest, raw and inspiring. They looked education, work, family obligations, money and more. Overall, I think the author did a fantastic job giving voice in each story she told.
As my first real collection of short stories, I really enjoyed this book.
As a White person, I will never totally understand what people go through when moving to another country in order to pursue a better life for themselves, the struggles that they face when they arrive there and then continue to face once they are trying to settle and get comfortable in the United States.
The writing of the stories was very well done and fast paced which meant it was easy to follow along with however the stories are all fairly sad in nature as you would imagine them to be with the premise of this book, some do end in a hopeful outlook however. All the stories of the same nature but different enough that it keeps you hooked.
I enjoyed this book and look forward to Munashe Kaseke's next book!
Thankyou to NetGalley and Mukana Press for this ARC in return for an honest review.
A beautifully written debut novel by Munashe Kaseke. It is a fast read with short stories of different immigration experiences of women from Zimbabwe. There are eye-opening stories of the different trials and tribulations women from Zimbabwe immigrate to the United States. I did not know all the different ways people could immigrate to the United States and what was involved. It is a great book and cannot wait to see if she writes more.
Locked in immediately with the first story and staying thereafter for all the others, which offer an array of perspectives which are unique and eye opening while all linked with some common ground in approaching the immigrant experience. The people on these pages seem very real (and so do their experiences with racism here in the United States) as well as elements of misogyny. A mirror that held up shows the truth about the many unflattering realities in our country.
Thank you, Mukana Press, for the advance reading copy.
Sixteen short stories in all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading each story which represents the struggles and the experiences the community representative of immigrants in the US. The stories represent the discrimination on the colour of the skin, the outer appearances, the culture and the beliefs as well as the doubts and the issues they go through almost everyday being judged and discriminated. These stories teach a lot about human nature and behaviour. And some shows pretty transparently how things haven't changed much.
Some stories are written pretty well while a few stories are a bit difficult to go through. Overall, a good collection to understand the immigrants and their present day struggles.
NetGalley ARC Educator 550974
Trigger warnings: Racism, misogyny, and trauma
These stories speak to the experiences of Zimbabwean women. They seek to better their life by coming to America. They face unspoken and heinous. It's as if some forget the majority of people that reside in America, it's because their ancestors were also immigrants seeking a better future. This book is amazing and hopefully it is used in High schools and college courses to teach their students the experiences and struggles of those seeking better.
Very interesting read. I really enjoyed the stories. Very thought provoking and gives one insight on how things are for other women. Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for the ARC of this book in return for my honest review. Receiving this book in this manner had no bearing on this review.
This is really an eye opening read for me. It stirs up all sorts of emotions for me. I felt humbled by all the stories, the good bit, the bad bit, some we see on the news or in the movies but often forgetting what one went through to produce such movies. This book helped me to dig deep, see the shadows casted by the characters in this book. I like the author’s note too. I will definitely recommend this book to people around me and to my local library. Many thanks Munashe Kaseke and Mukana Press for this opportunity to read the advance copy of this book on NetGalley.
Send Her Back by Munashe Kaseke
Publisher” Mukana Press
Release Date: July 25, 2022
Fiction, General Fiction (Adult), Multicultural Interest, Immigrants, Women’s Perspective, Own Voices
This book is comprised of sixteen short stories each told from the point of view of a Zimbabwean woman. It shows the difficulties the women must endure while living in the United States. Politics are mentioned briefly in a few stories but do not play a major role. I was struck by how strong these women were and how they were treated by the families and society. Some of these stories stayed with me even after I finished the book.
The author did an excellent job writing the stories as if each was about a real woman. If I did not know this book was fictional, I would believe the stories to be true accounts. I recommend this book to anyone interested in women’s and immigrant’s lives.
Thank you to Mukana Press and NetGalley for allowing me to review the digital ARC of Send Her Back and Other Stories
WOW this cover was eye catching and profound. This book is a compilation of powerful stories that center around African women. This book not only dives into the hard topics but sheds like on how tough immigration is.
Each story was truly beautiful written and all were equally enjoyable.. These are strong women who came to America looking for hope, but what they received was less than perfect (sad to say that Im not shocked?). There was struggle, tears, pain, love - so many emotions to process - it was emotionally draining. These women deserve as good a chance as a US born citizen.
This was a wonderful read. The characters brought to life by their struggles. At times the dry writing style was a little much for me, but I think the stories spoke for themselves.
A collection of sixteen short stories. The short stories are beautifully crafted. One that stands out is the beautifully titled ‘Zimbabwe meets Wyoming ‘which uses contrasts to illustrate the differences in culture between the two main characters. This story has some parallel's to Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah. Another stand out is the ‘Return to the land of giant sun’ which is a poignant depiction of Africans in the diaspora and how the things that people in the homeland take for granted such as sunsets and street food are the very things that keep those in the diaspora going on winter days and long night shifts at work. ‘The collector of degrees’ is a bittersweet tale of crushed dreams and intergenerational hope that somehow things will turn out better after studying another degree, but it never does – wonderfully done. A brilliant collection of stories – I would love to read a full novel from Munashe Kaseke.
This is a beautiful collection of short stories all focusing on Zimbabwean woman who have immigrated to the United States. I don't usually like short stories/essay collections, but this is probably one of the best collection of short stories i've ever read. Each story was so well done and I immediately felt connected with the characters and understanding what was going on. I think it helped that there was a common theme of all the stories focusing on women and Zimbabwean immigrants that made each story easier to get into to. This book does a great job of demonstrating the struggles of being an immigrant, giving an insight into the Zimbabwe diaspora, the challenges of the US immigration system, and so much more. I'd highly recommend this book to everyone! But especially people looking for a diverse short story collection.
I loved this book, although it was heartbreaking. I hate that people are treated the way they are due to ONLY the color of their skin. Send Her Back and Other Stories is a collection of stories about women who immigrate to the United States from Zimbabwe and how they are treated, not only by Americans, but also by those they left behind in their home country. Some feel they cannot go back, some feel they are taken advantage of by those they are supporting in Zimbabwe...
I WILL recommend this book to friends, but teaching 4th grade, it is a little over their abilities to understand what it is really about, the struggles that these women face in Zimbabwe and United States.
I was given the opportunity to read this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When we say "read to improve empathy", this is the sort of book you're meant to be reading. Is it happy? No. Hopeful? Sometimes, and fleetingly so. But it is unyieldingly poignant and intentional, and certainly a book I can easily see being made required reading in a classroom.
With her superb collection of short stories, Munashe Kaseke leaves a lasting impression. Topical and insightful, Send Her Back and Other Stories attacks race and gender stereotypes with grace and resonance. Bound to top lists of recommended diversity reads, we’re mistaken if we think Send Her Back is for an exclusive audience. In its hard-hitting stories, Kaseke creates glimpses of her protagonists’ secret lives. In her Author’s Note, she tells us she hopes we “feel seen” in her work. She is reaching out through stories of love and optimism; her only mission is to connect.
These pages barely contain their characters. They hold strong Zimbabwean women, led by their education to every corner of the United States. Whether they are braving northern blizzards or stuffy boardrooms, they survive on their determination and quick wits. New immigrants and first-generation Americans bring life into focus. Through their eyes, we see ourselves again for the first time.
If microaggressions are hard for Americans to identify, Send Her Back gives an accessible look into the mechanics. Kaseke’s stories point out foibles, pitfalls, and thoughtlessness for what it is, while giving due credit to Civil Rights Era achievements. Her Zimbabwean characters earn PhDs, rise to the top of their fields, and outsmart their rivals. Others support themselves with vigorous studies and endless work, wiring their small paychecks to far-away families who always need more. But these fierce spirits rarely break in the fight. Kaseke gives us heroes who change our hearts, entreating everyone to act with respect and care.
In the fracas of Twitter politics, hearing any voice clearly is a challenge. Trading on emotionalism and indignation, the news circuit perpetuates itself, drowning out many who have important stories to tell. Kaseke is among the authors and thinkers of our time who bring clarity. Her lead characters show us what the media misses, even when it seeks own voices. With stories that see so much in so many of us, Send Her Back holds its own against the noise.
I really really loved reading this book. A short stories of different scenarios and experiences all tied into one. Was such a beautiful read that i would definitely recommend everyone to pick up especially if you need to learn the experiences and perspectives of Africans living abroad.
no words to express how good this was, and how important it is that there are books like these going out in the world.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an e-arc of this novel!
"Send Her Back" is a book of short stories, each with different characters mostly from Zimbabwe who are living in the United States. Be prepared for a shocking look at their views of Americans, their feelings about how black non-Americans must change themselves to get along in this culture, and how, ultimately, they become neither American nor Zimbabwean. This isn't a pleasant read, but it's an eye-opener into human nature and the cultures that we create for ourselves. Author Munashe Kaseke is an excellent writer who understands the short-story form and for even that alone, this is worth your time.
Title: Send Her Back and Other Stories
Author: Munashe Kaseke
Publisher: Mukana Press
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
"Send Her Back and Other Stories" by Munashe Kaseke
'Send Her Back and Other Stories' was a collection of sixteen immigrant short stories. Some of the stories I found very hard to read and almost put the novel down; however, I was finally able to finish each one of the stories. Being a black American, these stories were hard to read these profound reads. It was good to see some of the strongest that some of these women processed in what they found out about after coming to America only looking for hope, and many did not find it here in our dear old America.
I struggled to read many of these emotional and draining stories as being told by a Zimbabwean woman. But, what got me was how many of the stories were treated so horribly—their struggles with their own families and society.
Whether or not this was a fictional story, even though it may not be true, I still believe some of it could have happened. We live in a world and see what has happened to many immigrants that have come to the US and experienced racism...yes, here in the US. If I were to have one of the sixteen stories I liked, it would be 'Ghost Of My Mother.'
Pick this one up and read and see how well this author wrote a story that the reader will ponder long after reading.
Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher of the ARC of this book, in return for my honest review.
This collection of short stories was a great glimpse into a culture I personally did not know much about. I do wish the tone of the stories or the voice had felt a bit more different through the different stories, but there were definitely unique, strong characters. All of the women in this collection are either in Zimbabwe or an immigrant in the United States. I liked the way that the stories tackled really tough issues. In a time when Americans can be cold and callus towards the experience of immigrants I think we need more stories that give voice to the immigrant experience.
I wish this had been available for this year's Juneteenth celebrations - I would have posted about it EVERYWHERE and been donating copies to local nonprofits and schools!
This collection of stories was like most - I loved some and wasn't a big fan of others. All of them had the commonality of featuring the Black experience as it relates to claiming their space in a society that is built to shut them out. I apologize that I don't have a title for this one, but my favorite story showed a high-powered Black woman holding her own in a room of white men, taking their snide comments and turning them into success for herself by whatever means necessary. The thing I took away - this work is not yet done.
What a powerful tribute to underrepresented voices! As a woman of color and immigrant, many of these stories hit very close to home and helped me feel seen. I’m so grateful for this varied cast of characters and their pain, loss, joy, and hope.
This book was a compulsively readable collection of stories! With the exception of one story that I skipped because of a personal trigger, I could not stop reading and finished each story wanting to know how the characters were doing - in other words, I was very invested in the characters!
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