“Send Her Back and Other Stories” by Munashe Kaseke

Send Her Back and Other Stories

Munashe Kaseke
Mukana Press (2022)
ISBN: 978-0578353128
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (02/2022)

In this quietly powerful and eminently robust collection of short stories, Munashe Kaseke explores the world of Black Women as immigrants in the United States. The stories capture their hopes, dreams, challenges, joys, and disappointments as they seek to adapt to a new environment. Further, the set showcases their experiences using strong female protagonists as they navigate through relationships, love, cultural clashes, and change.

Some stories have a hopeful ending such as “Noon” and “Imported Husband” while others have a bleak ending such as “Send Her Back” and readers will find themselves sympathizing with the protagonist’s situation. Most entries, moreover, are written in the first persona. However, some are written in the third person narrative like “Unseen” which follows a young girl, Tatenda, living with her family in Zimbabwe seeks to have her rightful place in the family and have equal rights like her brothers. The collection intersperses across two continents, Africa and the United States.

Kaseke further spotlights the challenges that countries in third world countries go through using Zimbabwe as an example. In “Unseen” and “Return to The Land of The Giant Suns”, unemployment, poor infrastructure are some of the problems the author highlights facing the country. I enjoyed how she brings to light some of society’s pressing inequalities and problems through her work of fiction. Each story has a different set of characters and a unique plot. 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.

The book is filled with strong resilient women who endure great fortitude with grace while also striving to cut across the glass ceiling of success placed above them by brutal cultural values, discrimination against women of color, and social prejudice. Some of these Black women’s experiences may have been told before but never with such freshness, intensity, and power. I therefore heartily rate this book 5 stars. For hesitant readers, “Send Them Back and Other Stories” by Munashe Kaseke will be a great start to dip your toes into the literary world of short stories. Not coy in her narration, she made reading every story an insightful experience for me.

Overall, I must say Munashe Kaseke has penned a winner in this debut of entrancing set stories. Largely written for people of color, this book is sure to garner an even larger audience owing to the complex and relevant themes that the author cuts across the chapters. I tip my hat to the author for her creativity and skill. I found the stories to be striking and original. I look forward to reading more of her books!

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