La Comunidad Reads with Lupita Aquino and Alejandro Varela *IN-PERSON*

Author Alejandro Varela joins Lupita Aquino - better known as Lupita.Reads - to discuss his collection of short stories, "The People Who Report More Stress." Lupita Aquino invites you to join her new book club, La Comunidad Reads, an author-inclusive club that aims to build a space where Latine-authored books are magnified for all readers! Loyalty is super psyched to be the bookstore partner for this exciting new book club series with DCPL, Lupita Aquino, and the DC Public Library Foundation! **This event is free to attend, but registration is encouragedplease register on DCPL's website.** You can purchase the book from Loyalty below or borrow a copy from DCPL, and we will have additional copies for sale at the event. Please email  with any questions.

For this meeting of the La Comunidad Reads Book Club, Lupita sits down with short story author Alejandro Varela to talk about his newest collection of short stories The People Who Report More Stress. The interconnected stories use humor to address the impact of microaggressions, racism and social stress factors on people of color. This chronic stress can take a toll on your physical and mental health and the best antidote is community and solidarity.


The People Who Report More Stress is a collection of interconnected stories brimming with the anxieties of people who retreat into themselves while living in the margins, acutely aware of the stresses that modern life takes upon the body and the body politic.

In "Midtown-West Side Story," lvaro, a restaurant worker struggling to support his family, begins selling high-end designer clothes to his co-workers, friends, neighbors, and the restaurant's regulars in preparation for a move to the suburbs.

"The Man in 512" tracks Manny, the childcare worker for a Swedish family, as he observes the comings and goings of an affluent co-op building, all the while teaching the children Spanish through Selena's music catalog.

"Comrades" follows a queer man with radical politics who just ended a long-term relationship and is now on the hunt for a life partner. With little tolerance for political moderates, his series of speed dates devolve into awkward confrontations that leave him wondering if his approach is the correct one.

A collection of humorous, sexy, and highly neurotic tales about parenting, long-term relationships, systemic and interpersonal racism, and class conflict from the author of The Town of Babylon , The People Who Report More Stress deftly and poignantly expresses the frustration of knowing the problems and solutions to our society's inequities but being unable to do anything about them.


Alejandro Varela (he/him) is a writer based in New York. His debut novel, The Town of Babylon (2022), was published by Astra House and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His work has appeared in The Point Magazine, Georgia Review, Boston Review, Harper’s, and The Offing, among others outlets. Varela is an editor-at-large of Apogee Journal. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Health.


Lupita Aquino—better known as Lupita Reads—is a passionate literary enthusiast amplifying and highlighting books through Instagram and TikTok. When she’s not reading, you can catch her occasionally writing about books for, She Reads dot com, and for her substack, where she spotlights Latine authors and their books on a weekly basis. She lives in the greater Washington DC area and enjoys visiting the local bookstores with her family on the weekend.

Please note Loyalty has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during virtual or in-person events. 

Event date: 
Tuesday, September 19, 2023 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
MLK Library - East Storefront A & B
901 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
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The People Who Report More Stress: Stories By Alejandro Varela Cover Image
ISBN: 9781662601071
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Astra House - April 4th, 2023

The Town of Babylon: A Novel By Alejandro Varela Cover Image
ISBN: 9781662601033
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Astra House - March 22nd, 2022