Munashe Kaseke

Teoksen Send Her Back and Other Stories tekijä

1 Work 36 Jäsentä 12 arvostelua

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Send Her Back and Other Stories (2022) 36 kappaletta

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Send Her Back and Other Stories by Munashe Kaseke is a collection of short stories featuring Zimbabwean immigrant women living in America. The Zimbabwean protagonists in the short stories navigate through a variety of issues such as identity, displacement, misogyny, microaggressions, sexism, racism, belonging, and culture. Each and every story in the collection is unique and well-crafted. We read a short story about dating outside your culture, a story concerning a police interaction, and a story about displacement in both your home country and the country you are residing in. It taught me a lot about Zimbabwean culture and gave a good perspective on the Zimbabwean experience.

I have read a few short story collections and I found the theme of Send Her Back and Other Stories unique which was what initially piqued my interest. I have read a collection of stories where each chapter is different and there is no connection which makes the book whole. Though, this collection connected all the stories with the theme of Zimbabwean immigrant women living in America. As a reader, I enjoyed this because it felt like I was almost reading about the different experiences of one protagonist even though each book had different characters. Despite the protagonist being a Zimbabwean woman, as a person of color I could relate to many of the experiences that were dealt by the protagonist. In each story, all the characters felt so real and genuine. When reading the book it felt like a movie. The book felt so raw and I went through a rollercoaster of emotions as I read through each story. I always think that it’s a plus point when you read a book and you really care about the characters or feel strong emotions toward the characters you don’t like. Especially since it's a short collection with new characters each time. It really did evoke my emotions. I was angry when the main protagonist was angry and sad when the main character was sad.

I have mentioned a few times how I really enjoyed the book due to its diversity, theme, and how unique each story is. But, not only is each story different and well-crafted in its plot but also in its writing style. Every story is written in a different manner, different formatting, and with different stylistic writing choices. To give an example one of the stories is formatted in a way where it jumps from different perspectives and different timelines. A multi-perspective story. Another story is written with a lot of figurative language and is lyrical. A lyrical story. This made this book all the more interesting to read. Some of the stories used Shona which is a language native to Zimbabwe. I liked seeing the different formats and styles of writing used in a short story collection. Some stories felt like they could be an entirely separate book because they were so well-written. Some of the stories were suspenseful and some were lighthearted. This is why I think the collection is truly unique. A lot of the time when complimenting a book people say how they could not put the book down. But for me, I truly know I like the book when I stop to really think about what I just read in between the stories and relate to it. After I read each story I could take a break to think about it and come back to a totally different story. And since it was a collection I would not have to reread something to remember what the story was about. At times it felt like an anthology series because it felt like each story was written by a different author. The author is very versatile as each story is written differently than the other.

The order of the stories also caught my attention after completing the book. I felt like the first story was simple but set the tone for the next story after that. The last story really ended the book on a positive note finalizing the book. So, I think the order in which the stories were placed was very incisive and smart.

However there were some things that I think could be improved in this book to make this book even better. To start, there are some writing choices that I thought could be better, especially in the first story of the collection. Though I love how unique each format and style is, there could be slight tweaking in how those stylistic choices are made. Particularly in one story the dialogue between the characters was a bit cringe-inducing, forced, and unnatural. Despite this, the narrative and exposition carried the overall story making the characters feel raw and making you care for them. But, I think if the dialogue was changed and written in a better manner the book would be even better. Effective dialogue is always nice to see in a book. Finally, I think that the placement of Shona could be better. Whenever I read a book that intertwines a different language I want it to be consistent, written smoothly, and the language to connect with the context. And it does depend on the book. This is just my perspective and opinion but I think there could have been a better use of the language to really bring out the text. Not to say that I did not like the addition of the language but I think it could have been more expertly intertwined with it. There were some times I thought that the language was incorporated well other times not so much. If those little inconsistencies were worked on, the book would have a great balance. Obviously, there are some stories that I liked better than the others but there was no story that I disliked.

To conclude I really enjoyed reading this book. Yes, there were some things that could be improved on to make this book even better. But it did not take away from my appreciation and respect for this collection of stories by Munashe Kaseke. This is why I rated the book the way I did.
… (lisätietoja)
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Brianna3. | 11 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 23, 2023 |
I am a Caucasian American so I didn't expect to relate to her stories nonetheless I was interested. I enjoyed this book and found that this is a good up-and-coming writer who I would like to read more from. Even though my outlook is quite different from hers, I get it and enjoyed it. I would recommend this to anyone who desires to see the other side of the immigration debacle.
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MaggieFP | 11 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 14, 2023 |
Send Her Back and Other Stories explores the struggles of Zimbabwean women, particularly immigrants to the United States, through sixteen short stories following different women at key points in their lives. It delves into a variety of social issues including racism and colorism, misogyny, the cycle of poverty, and the flaws of the immigration system in a poignant way. With some of the stories, I felt there was a 'lesson' or a point to the story that was overtly told to the reader in a way that didn't necessarily make sense with who the narrator was and how they viewed their own actions. This made those stories and characters feel a little less genuine or real, but otherwise it was well-written with strong characters and evocative stories.… (lisätietoja)
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solenophage | 11 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 23, 2023 |
SEND HER BACK is a collection of 16 short stories about black women’s immigrant experience in the US. Although fiction, the book seems as if it’s non-fiction. Munashe Kaseke excels at creating characters that feel real, making it hard not to empathize. Both poignant and hopeful, SEND HER BACK is a read that deals with some heavy topics. Kaseke chooses an interesting format of using first- and third-person narration as well as a couple of stories in the not often used second-person.

A few things kept this from being a higher rated read for me. There was an inconsistency in the writing with some stories being significantly stronger than others. After a certain point, the protagonists meshed together. Though each story centered on a different Zimbabwean woman’s experience, many of the stories felt too similar. I may have preferred several novellas instead of this larger short story collection so that there could have been more character development and less overlap between story themes.

Altogether, this was a good read to learn more about Zimbabwean culture and the immigrant experience. I will keep an eye out for any future books by this author.

I’d recommend SEND HER BACK to anyone looking to read about black women’s immigrant experience in the US with an emphasis on Zimbabwean culture.
… (lisätietoja)
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bostieslovebooks | 11 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 25, 2022 |



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½ 3.7