Alejandro Varela’s work has appeared in The Point, Boston Review, Harper’s Magazine, The Rumpus, Joyland, The Brooklyn Rail, The Offing, Blunderbuss Magazine, the Southampton Review, The New Republic, and the anthology Pariahs. The Town of Babylon: A Novel (Astra House) is 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 20-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. The Town of Babylon is a modern coming-of-age story about the essential nature of community and young love and a close examination of our social systems and the toll they take when they fail us.