Send Her Back and Other Stories has taken me out of my hiatus because I just had to talk about it! The beauty of short stories is you do not have to worry about it being a long read, and if you are a mood reader like me, you have a variety of genres to choose from.
Send Her Back and Other Stories by Munashe Kaseke is a collection of stories that gives the reader a front row seat of how awfully exhausting and lonely the life of an immigrant can be. The author 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.
I related to most of these stories as the author had different characters reveal the good and the bad of living as a foreigner. With all the protagonists being female Zimbabwean, they all have different experiences navigating life as immigrants. From Send Her Back (Vimbiso on the verge of being deported after being in the country for nearly 10 years and the effects of that on her marriage) to Tsoro (where Chiedza is determined to show that she is not a diversity hire but more qualified and strategic as everyone else), the stories evoke different emotions and have different settings that are both comical and emotional.
The drama is unending in this collection and I appreciate how Kaseke balanced the stories to have the reader ease as most of the stories are centred around heavy plots and life threatening twists.
The collection is bearing sixteen short stories and can easily be read in a short time. Most of the stories are heavy, and knowing how I have been trying to move from that, I found myself engrossed in this collection. I am not sure if it is because they are told in a voice (Zimbabwean) or because I related to the issues of racism, discrimination and othered, being an immigrant. I would recommend this collection to those who want to understand what we go through as immigrants and also how it is like to be a Zimbabwean woman.
I wished some of the characters had stronger personalities as I found them a bit passive. However this could have been Kaseke’s intention, to show how different characters can be. I rate this book a 3.5 out of 5.
Be sure to grab yourself a copy!
Munashe Kaseke was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. She migrated to the United States of America at age nineteen when she received a scholarship to study at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. She holds Doctor of Pharmacy and Master of Public Administration degrees. Munashe currently lives and works in Northern California. Send Her Back and Other Stories is her debut book. You can learn more about her on her website