Send Her Back and other stories
Send Her Back contains fifteen unique and heart-wrenching stories about women who have immigrated from Zimbabwe to America. Although these stories are fictitious, the emotion, passion, and intensity behind each narrative will leave you feeling immensely connected to the dynamic characters. Every chapter focuses on a unique Zimbabwean woman who feels disconnected or out of place due to their experiences in America. This anthology ranges from light-hearted love stories to more intense themes such as racism, immigration stipulations, and abuse.
Women in several chapters recount the unfortunate experiences brought on by blatant racism; Vimbiso fears she will be deported for driving without a license and must resort to extreme circumstances in order to stay. In “Not so Subtleties”, the main character rushes out of a social gathering due to insensitive comments about her hair and incessant pleads to change her name to something “easier to pronounce”. Many women express not feeling like they belong in America or Zimbabwe, due to the immense cultural differences they are exposed to.
“The Collector of Degrees” is about a woman who continues to go to college in order to stay in America-borrowing money from friends turned enemies and living in enormous debt to avoid going back to a country she barely knows. She is forced to work a minimum wage restaurant job due to the lack of employee sponsor opportunities in her chosen field. In the final chapter, Rudo struggles with feelings of hopelessness when she is unable to provide for her family back home. She had to drop out of college when she was unable to make the grades while working full time. She had been lying to her family for 12 years; working multiple jobs and living out of her car to afford enough money to send back home. When she discovers her family used her money to throw a party bragging about their wealthy daughter, her anxiety and depression become overwhelming and cause her to spin into a dark downward spiral.
The author intentionally places each story in its perfect place; allowing the reader to emotionally connect to the characters while not becoming overwhelmed in their grief and frustration. As a White individual who has experienced many privileges in life, I am thankful that this book exposes so many injustices that I have been blind to my whole life. The overall theme of this book is not meant to cause pity for immigrants or shame privileged people for their ignorance; the beauty of this book is found in the insightful language carefully created by the author. Each scene and situation is explained in a straightforward but well-rounded manner, leaving the reader wanting more content but needing no further explanation.
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