If You See Me, Don't Say Hi (Hardcover)
Flatiron Books, 9781250183194, 224pp.
Publication Date: July 10, 2018
July 2018 Indie Next List
— Mo Daviau, Powell's Books for Home and Garden, Portland, OR
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A Best Book of Summer (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Book Riot, The Millions, Bookish)
"These stories have a sharp eye for the complexities of modern life, but Neel Patel writes with the wisdom and compassion of an old soul."
--Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere
"A joy to read, reminiscent of Jhumpa Lahiri and David Ebershoff."
--Imbolo Mbue, New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers
In eleven sharp, surprising stories, Neel Patel gives voice to our most deeply held stereotypes and then slowly undermines them. His characters, almost all of who are first-generation Indian Americans, subvert our expectations that they will sit quietly by. We meet two brothers caught in an elaborate web of envy and loathing; a young gay man who becomes involved with an older man whose secret he could never guess; three women who almost gleefully throw off the pleasant agreeability society asks of them; and, in the final pair of linked stories, a young couple struggling against the devastating force of community gossip.
If You See Me, Don't Say Hi examines the collisions of old world and new world, small town and big city, traditional beliefs (like arranged marriage) and modern rituals (like Facebook stalking). Ranging across the country, Patel's stories -- empathetic, provocative, twisting, and wryly funny -- introduce a bold new literary voice, one that feels more timely than ever.