If You See Me, Don't Say Hi by Neel Patel

If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

In these 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 gle...

Details If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

TitleIf You See Me, Don't Say Hi
Release DateJul 10th, 2018
PublisherFlatiron Books
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, LGBT, Contemporary, Cultural, India

Reviews If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

  • Larry H
    Somewhere between 4.5 and 5 stars, rounding up.With his debut story collection, If You See Me, Don't Say Hi , Neel Patel serves notice that he is a talent to be reckoned with. The 11 stories in this collection are packed with emotion and turn people's perceptions and stereotypes of most Indian Americans on their ear. Some of the characters in these stories follow traditional paths, while others are anything but traditional—they're Facebook-sta...
  • Diane S ☔
    LOVE AND LOSS, follow the characters in these eleven beautifully written stories. They follow various scenarios in the lives of characters of Indian descent, maintains their own customer, while navigating new lives in the states. The title story is so usual the one that stands out and concerns two brothers who once close fall out over a careless comment one of them makes. Their estrangement will last ten years.The last two stories are connecting ...
  • Thomas
    3.5 starsA great debut short story collection that centers the complex lives of first-generation Indian Americans, some queer and some straight. Neel Patel, an emerging voice in literature, dispels the model minority myth with these 11 well-written stories. Though people often make assumptions about Indian Americans (e.g., they are rich, all they care about is working hard and getting their kids into good schools, their families all abide by the ...
  • TL
    I received this via Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review. :)=====3.5 stars overallA well done collection of stories. Actually enjoyed all of them:) Not that I wasn't expecting to but sometimes it is in the back of my mind when I pick up any short story collection. Loved taking the time to savor these.No complaints about this one:) Definitely re-read material down the road.-----Individual ratings:God of Destruction : 3 stars Hare ...
  • Kathleen
    Indian American Patel’s short story collection is comprised of eleven tales of young men and women flailing in their attempts to find meaningful relationships. Patel’s characters are not afraid to seek friendship—or lovers—but communication seems inevitably to go sideways, resulting in frayed friendships, and broken hearts. Patel seems to sum it up with a quote taken from ‘God of Destruction’; “Happiness is a currency: that when it ...
  • Sachi Sabella
    What I liked most about this book is that it was an easy, fast read. The book left me lost and confused. The details were clear, the characters were all sad and strange. Depressing, but I didn’t feel bad for them. I almost wanted something horrible to happen to them just so I could see some type humanness. Can a book be boring and intriguing at the same time? This was a different type of read for me
  • Read By RodKelly
    This is a lovely collection of quaint stories unified by the common theme of human imperfection. Although each story features an Indian protagonist, the cultural references are secondary to the universal experiences these characters deal with. I could deeply relate to something in every story and that is the mark of a great collection. Much of it is focused on love, domestic life, and careers and all of the strangely profound feelings that these ...
  • Olha
    The main problem of short stories – they are short. However, they are a wonderful choice for travelling. You can read different stories in whatever order you like, whenever you want and don’t memorize characters and their doings to follow the story. “If you see me, don’t say Hi” by Neel Patel contains eleven stories. Each of them is interesting, but not each one leaves a mark. I mean, when I was reading the fifth story I could not remem...
  • PS
    After recently reading Devi S. Laskar’s overworked The Atlas of Reds and Blues and rereading Jhumpa Lahiri’s beautifully written but soporific short story collection, Unaccustomed Earth, I didn’t expect a lot from this collection. What I thought this would be: another bunch of stories that focus on immigrant issues, bursting with tired tropes and stereotypes. Patel’s short stories – written from the viewpoint of women, gay men (both Ind...
  • Doug
    A solid collection of short stories, all centering around the East Indian-American experience. Interestingly, about a third of them also have LGBTQ elements, and another third have female narrators, unusual in a male author. Reading them back to back somewhat dilutes their fortitude, however, as he repeats certain elements to deleterious effect (for example, in the final two unrelated stories, the parents of the protagonists are doctors and hotel...
  • Rennie
    Well written stories with meaningful, (although somewhat heavy) themes that were interesting until I started to feel like I was reading the same one over again. It would have benefitted from including one or two from a lighter perspective.
  • Jade
    I love writing short stories but funnily enough I only really started reading them this past decade. I don’t know why I used to avoid the genre because I feel it showcases a writer’s talent in a way that can sometimes get submerged in a novel.Anyway, Neel Patel’s début collection, If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi, does a great job showcasing his talent: he’s an exceptional writer. Each story contains gem upon gem of wonderful insights into ...
  • Srividya
    1.5 stars.Highly avoidable! One dimensional characters in stories that are extremely repetitive in essence and just about everything. Themes were intriguing, which is the reason I picked this one up but it was a total disaster in terms of execution. It felt as if the author had merely changed the names and places but the story line or arc was the same. What irritated me the most is the casual nature with which the author has talked about some of ...
  • Jessica
    This is the first book I've rated without finishing. I made it about 50 pages in before I got fed up with the consistent misogyny. I don't think this author has ever spoken to (or seen, apparently) an actual woman in his entire life. The last straw for me was "Her breasts were like pillows of dough and her ass was like a mold of gelatin, wiggling with each step." Ugh.Aside from the sexism, these stories often felt simplistic and tropey. I had hig...
  • ellie
    not a big fan of the word “devouring” to be used in relation to a book, but i absolutely devoured this-read in one sitting!
  • Ylenia
    3.5 starsA really interesting collection of short stories that explores sex, obsession, relationships and traditions. The protagonists were all Indians living in America, people we often don't hear stories from in literature.
  • Tes - paperbackbones
    The stories in this collection had such an earnest openness about them. I was beyond pleased at how diverse the characters were - men, women, gay, straight, young & older, etc. Some narratives were stronger than others, but all of them offered compelling insights (& often, dark humor) that I eagerly devoured. In these, Patel explored relationships— between people and their families, their spouses, and friends. But he also explored the complex r...
  • Kelley
    I made it about 1/3 through this one, did not finish. Maybe the best stories were at the end. If so, I'm sorry but I couldn't slog through the rest to get there. My loss. But this book wasn't for me. One of my favorite quotes that I think of often when taking in Western stories in books or on screen is by G. Willow Wilson from her excellent Alif the Unseen:Look at all the Eastern writers who've written great Western literature. Kazuo Ishiguro. Yo...
  • Janelle | She Reads with Cats
    Thank you so much Flatiron Books for providing my free copy of IF YOU SEE ME, DON’T SAY HI by Neel Patel - all opinions are my own.This is an incredible debut collection of eleven short stories about love and loss with wonderful and thoughtful characters. These stories negate the stereotypes of Indian Americans and show a wide range of interesting characters who lead different lifestyles but who all have one thing in common: they are each faced...
  • Stephanie
    Thanks to Flatiron for sending me a review copy!Through the eleven stories in this collection, Neel Patel explores stereotypes and expectations with his Indian American protagonists. Most are young (none past middle age; most are teenagers or in their twenties), straddling the world of their parents and the culture they now find themselves - arranged marriages, online dating, unrequited love.It's an easy collection to read - often funny, often en...
  • Tyler Goodson
    These stories are about people on the brink--in between cultures, relationships, jobs--and this instability lends Patel's collection a sense of uncertainty and danger, and his characters vulnerability. They are not the shining stars of their families, but the daughters you make excuses for or the brothers you pretend don't exist. They are familiar, funny, sad, and true, and populate stories that are surprising, entertaining, and memorable.
  • Cherise Wolas
    Family stories that include coming of age, coming to one's sexuality, parental expectations, parental disappointments, sexual exploration, the focus on education, sibling disputes, etc., set among Indian families who live largely in Illinois. In a few, characters migrate from one story to another, or we are shown the flip side of a story. While the Indian parents have immigrated to America, their children are US-born, and, to a degree, there is t...
  • Miriam
    These stories are full of regret. Of failure, of what could’ve been. Each one made my heart ache and fill with longing. Complex relationships between family and others, written smoothly and expertly.
  • N
    I wanted to like these stories. They started out intriguing enough, but quickly dissolved into repetitive stories with predictable unpredictability, the main ingredients of which were alcohol, sex, and missed or overlooked connections reappearing later in life. All the stories are told in the first person so they blend together even more, none of the characters really being distinguishable. What bothered me the most was how the stories objectify,...
  • Karen Nelson
    If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi is a delicious mix of short stories written by Neel Patel from multiple perspectives of Indian American young adults. In each of the stories, Patel writes from the perspective of brown people who are heterosexual female, a gay male, a married woman experiencing deep grief, a White American male involved with a gay Indian man, while leading us to think about race( and otherness) in America.Discussing the stereotypes o...
  • Bill Hsu
    Most reviews point out the nuanced and multifaceted Indian American characters, which I do appreciate. There's also a facility with the storytelling that I really like. Context, crucial character details, suspicious gossip etc slip in seemingly without effort; I've read enough short stories that were marred by clunky scene-setting and ham-handed character introductions. Patel skillfully opens "These Things Happen" (nice title, eh?):It wasn't that...
  • Ming
    Each story has a twist. A catch. Something that was introduced as one thing would become something else. The series of short stories made this writing element more pronounced; and the pattern started to feel like a gimmick.The stories are quick reading and they're generally good. I liked how the stories were varied in terms of main characters (some were men, women, etc.)I liked "hare rama, hare krishna," and "just a friend." I feel like I've read...
  • Becky
    I really enjoyed this short story collection. Patel writes about an unpredictable variety of characters, most of whom are struggling with something or themselves, and I loved that.
  • Vivek Tejuja
    A short-story collection that is written well and paces itself beautifully always lifts my spirits. It is the feeling of the book never ending. A feeling that it should last a little longer, even though it might end. Some more. And that's exactly what I felt but of course while reading If You See Me, Don't Say Hi.Neel Patel's stories are quiet and tender. They pack a punch nonetheless when they have to. What lends to them superbly is the writing ...