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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

Stories

Neel Patel

Flatiron Books

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"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.

god of destruction


The Wi-Fi was out: that was the first sign. The second was that my dress was an eyesore. Online it had appeared chic and trendy, but in person, at the mall, it was an egregious mistake.

“Bachelorette party?”...

Praise for If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

“Patel’s deep sense of empathy—and infuriatingly relatable characters—shines throughout. A melancholic pleasure with a sense of humor.”
Kirkus (starred review)

"If You See Me, Don't Say Hi bristles with unexpected meetings and reunions, recognitions and failed recognitions, passions and estrangements of all kinds. 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. As much as these remarkable stories have Indian-American characters at the center, they are simply human, tenderly told. Without moralizing or sentimentality, Patel writes about forgiveness and compassion, and the freedom to be flawed. What exquisite writing. What a tremendous talent.”
Imbolo Mbue, New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers

"It’s possible that no one ever told Neel Patel that Indians in America are supposed to be a model minority. How else to explain these stories, full of terrible spouses, warring siblings, unapologetic liars, and naive kids, searching for happiness, love, or maybe just sex? In stories that are moving, thoughtful, entertaining, and discomfiting all at once, Patel upends what we think the experience of Indians in America looks like. It’s about time."
Rumaan Alam, author of Rich and Pretty

“In If You See Me, Don’t … More…


“Patel’s deep sense of empathy—and infuriatingly relatable characters—shines throughout. A melancholic pleasure with a sense of humor.”
Kirkus (starred review)

"If You See Me, Don't Say Hi bristles with unexpected meetings and reunions, recognitions and failed recognitions, passions and estrangements of all kinds. 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. As much as these remarkable stories have Indian-American characters at the center, they are simply human, tenderly told. Without moralizing or sentimentality, Patel writes about forgiveness and compassion, and the freedom to be flawed. What exquisite writing. What a tremendous talent.”
Imbolo Mbue, New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers

"It’s possible that no one ever told Neel Patel that Indians in America are supposed to be a model minority. How else to explain these stories, full of terrible spouses, warring siblings, unapologetic liars, and naive kids, searching for happiness, love, or maybe just sex? In stories that are moving, thoughtful, entertaining, and discomfiting all at once, Patel upends what we think the experience of Indians in America looks like. It’s about time."
Rumaan Alam, author of Rich and Pretty

“In If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi, Neel Patel pulls off something that I’ve rarely seen: stories about Indians in America which feel unique and thrilling without relying on stereotypes or tropes. His characters manage to be both sympathetic and deeply flawed, complicated people who don’t give you clean answers. His stories will make you laugh, then cry, then feel uncomfortable, then feel free, all within a few pages. When you’re done reading, you’ll want to flip back to the beginning and read it all over again.”
Scaachi Koul, author of One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter

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Reviews from Goodreads

Neel Patel

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.

image of Neel Patel o
Bradford Rogne