If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

Neel Patel

fiction contemporary lgbtqia+ short stories
funny reflective fast-paced

224 pages | first published 2018

A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice and an NPR Best Book of the Year

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.

What the community thinks

summary of 152 ratings (see reviews)

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emotional 83%
sad 66%
funny 58%
reflective 58%
dark 41%
challenging 16%
hopeful 16%
informative 16%
lighthearted 16%
tense 16%
adventurous 8%
inspiring 8%


medium 53%
fast 46%

Plot- or character-driven?

Character: 50% | A mix: 16% | N/A: 16% | Plot: 16%

Strong character development?

Yes: 41% | It's complicated: 25% | No: 25% | N/A: 8%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 83% | No: 8% | Yes: 8%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 100%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 70% | No: 20% | It's complicated: 10%

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