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Tell Me How to Be

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Description

Neel Patel is a first-generation Indian American who grew up in Champaign, Illinois. His debut st... Read More

Product Description

Neel Patel is a first-generation Indian American who grew up in Champaign, Illinois. His debut story collection, If You See Me, Don't Say Hi, was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice and was long-listed for the Story Prize and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. He currently lives in Los Angeles. Tell Me How to Be is his debut novel.

Renu Amin always seemed perfect: doting husband, beautiful house, healthy sons. But as the one-year anniversary of her husband's death approaches, Renu is binge-watching soap operas and simmering with old resentments. She can't stop wondering if, thirty-five years ago, she chose the wrong life. In Los Angeles, her son, Akash, has everything he ever wanted, but as he tries to kickstart his songwriting career and commit to his boyfriend, he is haunted by the painful memories he fled a decade ago. When his mother tells him she is selling the family home, Akash returns to Illinois, hoping to finally say goodbye and move on.

Together, Renu and Akash pack up the house, retreating further into the secrets that stand between them. Renu sends an innocent Facebook message to the man she almost married, sparking an emotional affair that calls into question everything she thought she knew about herself. Akash slips back into bad habits as he confronts his darkest secrets-including what really happened between him and the first boy who broke his heart. When their pasts catch up to them, Renu and Akash must decide between the lives they left behind and the ones they've since created, between making each other happy and setting themselves free.

By turns irreverent and tender, filled with the beats of '90s R&B, Tell Me How to Be is about our earliest betrayals and the cost of reconciliation. But most of all, it is the love story of a mother and son each trying to figure out how to be in the world.

Immersive, seductive and elegant[V]ulnerable, authentic and entertainingOnce in a while there comes a book that reminds us of why we read: to feel, to question, to grow. This is that book.Tell Me How to Be is daring, hilarious, poignant, and impossible to put down.A soulful and seductive love song of a book, Tell Me How to Be is a keen and sharply hilarious celebration of the universal messiness of desire and the necessity of coming clean first with ourselves.Neel Patel's compelling first novel tells a story that is sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing, and, by the end, deeply moving.Patel skillfully maneuvers through the treacherous territory of abandoned dreams, family squabbles, and cultural clashes before finding a resounding catharsis for mother and son. The result is noteworthy and memorable.Neel Patel's debut novel 'Tell me how to be' is an ode to the Asian experience abroad. The book unpacks a family drama with poise and sensitivity, it has all the characteristics signature to a lived immigrant experience.It is one of the most honest and unpretentious works of fiction to have come out of the unit that literature pundits call diaspora writing.Featured as one of the "8 fiction books by first-time Indian authors you should be reading right now"

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