The People Who Report More Stress
This book is brilliant, layered, funny, and so insightful about the way communities, like hearts, are made and unmade. I loved it. Alejandro Vaerlo is a marvel. — Justin Torres, author of We the Animals
This collection is full of vivid characters who resemble many people in my own life. These stories are funny, insightful and are, at times, cheeky AF! You can’t help but relish in them. — Rosa Hernandez, Marketing Manager at Third Place Books
In The People Who Report More Stress, Alejandro Varela cracks the veneer of gay domesticity to reveal the intricacies of anxiety and lust, bewilderment and promise, shelter and placelessness in everyday urban life. In linked stories driven by frenzied interior monologue and roving analytical glee, Varela pivots from the rules of bathroom cruising to the legacies of colonialism in international relations, the hustle of selling bootleg designer clothes to the racial hierarchies of Brooklyn gentrification. Moving deftly between satire and hyperrealism, comic excess and mundane pathos, The People Who Report More Stress dissects the minutiae of relationships to self, city, space, and sensibility so we don’t numbly succumb to the ‘structured order of things.’ —Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of The Freezer Door
Alejandro Varela’s The People Who Report More Stress effortlessly walks the line between humor and grief to create a portrait of modern queer life that is at once absurd and deeply sincere. These stories capture the small, lonely moments of everyday life, the rejections and misunderstandings and longings that make up great fiction. Varela can do anything. — Isle McElroy, author of The Atmospherians and People Collide
For readers of A Lucky Man and Heads of the Colored People and fans of Bryan Washington and Jenny Zhang.
A collection of connected stories examinng issues of parenting, systemic and interpersonal racism, and class conflict in gentrified Brooklyn.
The People Who Report More Stress is a collection of interconnected stories about a man named Eduardo. A deeply introspective, class-jumping, gay, Latinx public health advocate living in Brooklyn, Eduardo is all too aware of the stress that both hierarchy and capitalism are taking on his body.
In “The Six Times of Alan,” a brown-skinned parent of an adopted child with a deeper brown shade of skin finds himself in a dilemma—what to do about a simple conflict between his kid and the white child of another parent at the park who has framed his son as a menace.
In “Midtown-West Side Story,” Álvaro, 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 that he gets at warehouse prices out of a Hoboken basement from his shady friend, known only as “El Flaco.”
Speaking to issues of parenting, systemic and interpersonal racism, and class conflict, Alejandro Varela deftly and poignantly expresses the frustration of knowing the problems and solutions to our society’s inequities, but not being able to do anything about them
“I see Varela’s writing as a modern, urban entry in the tradition of works like John Cheever’s The Stories of John Cheever or Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love—a tradition kept alive by writers like Teju Cole in Every Day is for the Thief and Jamel Brinkley in A Lucky Man.”—Danny Vazquez, acquiring editor at Astra House
- COMPARATIVE TITLES BY OTHER AUTHORS:
- LOT/Bryan Washington
- A LUCKY MAN/Jamel Brinkley
- HEADS OF THE COLORED PEOPLE/Nafissa Thompson-Spires
- SOUR HEART/Jenny Zhang
- EVERY DAY IS FOR THE THIEF/Teju Cole