The Town of Babylon
A FINALIST FOR THE 2022 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION
A PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY BEST BOOK OF 2022
ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022 – BuzzFeed, LitHub, Electric Literature, LGBTQ Reads, Latinx in Publishing
*Recommended by The New York Times*
Haunting, sublime, solemn, and true. –Robert Jones Jr., author of The Prophets
[An] intense, astute meditation on race, family, class, love, and friendship. –Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
In this contemporary debut novel–an intimate portrait of queer, racial, and class identity –Andrés, a gay Latinx professor, returns to his suburban hometown in the wake of his husband’s infidelity. There he finds himself with no excuse not to attend his twenty-year high school reunion, and hesitantly begins to reconnect with people he used to call friends.
Over the next few weeks, while caring for his aging parents and navigating the neighborhood where he grew up, Andrés falls into old habits with friends he thought he’d left behind. Before long, he unexpectedly becomes entangled with his first love and is forced to tend to past wounds.
Captivating and poignant; a modern coming-of-age story about the essential nature of community, The Town of Babylon is a page-turning novel about young love and a close examination of our social systems and the toll they take when they fail us.
Alejandro Varela (he/him) is a writer based in New York. His writing has appeared in the Point Magazine, Boston Review, Harper’s, Split Lip, the Georgia Review, the Rumpus, the Brooklyn Rail, the Offing, and the New Republic, among other publications. He is a 2019 Jerome Fellow in Literature. He was a resident in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s 2017-2018 Workspace program and a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Nonfiction. Alejandro is an editor-at-large of Apogee Journal. His graduate studies were in public health. His first book, The Town of Babylon, was published by Astra House in 2022. His second book, The People Who Report More Stress, is forthcoming (Astra House, 2023). Varela believes strongly in reparations, land back, a national health service, and a thirty dollar minimum wage pegged to inflation as interventions essential for the collective liberation of our society.
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