If You See Me, Don't Say Hi (Hardcover)

Stories

By Neel Patel

Flatiron Books, 9781250183194, 224pp.

Publication Date: July 10, 2018

List Price: 24.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

July 2018 Indie Next List

“Neel Patel’s debut short story collection is filled with tales of imperfection and longing, of unfulfilled wishes that fight hard against expectations. His flawed characters know what they risk when their actions don’t match the standard script of perfection they’ve been handed, but their need for love and acceptance always prevails, sometimes with heartbreaking results. Patel’s empathy toward his characters is palpable, as is the effect of his gorgeously rendered sentences. If You See Me, Don’t Say Hiis a wonderful read: necessary, aching, and alive.”
— Mo Daviau, Powell's Books for Home and Garden, Portland, OR
View the List

Description

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.



About the Author

Neel Patel is a first-generation Indian American who grew up in Champaign, Illinois. His short stories have appeared in The Southampton Review, Indiana Review, The American Literary Review, Hyphen Magazine, and on Nerve.com. He currently lives in Los Angeles, where he is at work on a novel. If You See Me, Don't Say Hi is his debut.