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 human nature, culture, and relationships. All shrouded with a backdrop of Indian culture and heritage.
If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi has stories of deception, arranged marriages, mixed marriages, same sex relationships, divorce, unrequited love, to name just a few of the themes that pop up. All of the stories revolve around the main theme of relationships, and I found some stories better than others, but that’s usually the norm with most short story collections that I read. Some of them I related to, others left a bad taste in my mouth, but all recreate believable slices of life and intrigue. I read them all in one go, but I think next time I read them I will slow it down a little so as not to mix them all up together. I think that this is one collection that should be read in slices.
A really solid debut from Neel Patel, I’m looking forward to reading more of his work in the future! If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi will be published on July 10th by Flatiron Books. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy!