About this Event
In Alejandro Varela’s debut novel, The Town of Babylon, a queer Latinx professor returns to his suburban hometown to care for his ailing father. While there, he attends his 20 year high school reunion, an event that precipitates a reckoning with characters from his youth, as well as with the insular community that both shaped him and inspired him to flee in search of a home that would accept and embrace him.
Varela will be joined by New Yorker staff writer Julian Lucas for a conversation about literature, community, public health, queer love, and chosen families. Stick around after the conversation for a book signing and refreshments.
Join this event in-person at the Bureau
OR watch the live-stream of the event on .
Registration is not required. Seating is first come, first served.
Suggested donation $10 to benefit the Bureau’s work.
All are welcome to attend, with or without donation.
We will pass a bag for donations at the start of the event, but we can also take credit card donations at the register and on this page.
Safety protocol (for those joining in person)
In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
If you have any symptoms associated with COVID-19 in the days leading up to the event, we ask you to please stay home. We ask all attendees to wear a mask.
Purchase Alejandro Varela's (Astra House, 2022, hardcover, $27) from the Bureau's online store (click on title).
Copies of The Town of Babylon are also available at the Bureau's physical store.
Thank you for supporting the Bureau by purchasing books from us!
Alejandro Varela (he/him) is based in New York. His work has appeared in The Point magazine, Boston Review, Harper's Magazine, The Rumpus, Joyland Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, The Offing, Blunderbuss Magazine, Pariahs (an anthology, SFA Press, 2016), the Southampton Review, and The New Republic. He is a 2019 Jerome Fellow in Literature and his graduate studies were in public health.
Julian Lucas is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he writes about books, art, video games, and the representation of history. He is also a contributing editor at The Ballot and an editor-at-large at Cabinet.
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
Bureau of General Services—Queer Division, 208 West 13th Street, New York, United States