“Alex DiFrancesco’s eclectic, absorbing first collection, “Transmutation,” captures moments of in-betweenness (often fraught, sometimes magical) that may be especially familiar to transgender people who are not legible, temporarily or purposefully, to others or themselves… Within these direct, straightforward stories are corridors of solitude and reflection… Unlike with the cool remove of, say, Rachel Cusk’s fiction, DiFrancesco clearly is not afraid to err on the side of sentimentality… At the affective core of “Transmutation” is the question of how we can offer shelter for one another’s pain, real and imagined.”

– Patrick Cottrell, The New York Times Book Review

“Whether injecting lake water into their leg to conjure a swamp thing, using a reusable metal straw to suck up the air around an irrelevant professor, or dealing with the health concerns specific to vampires, the characters in Transmutation are tender and real. The presence of fantastical elements is part of the magic of these 10 stories, which are linked thematically by the changeable nature of the body. DiFranceso’s alchemy is that every story reveals someone who is realizing a new version of themselves.”

– Wendy J. Fox, Buzzfeed

“DiFrancesco takes readers by the hand and guides us into the darkness so slowly we don’t realize what’s happening until it’s too late. They’ve pulled us entirely away from reality, from the comfort and safety of the things which we assumed to be true. They make us confront the darkness of others and ourselves in ways that are both disorienting and enlightening. They show the ways people reach for each other, and seek to understand, and they write about characters who only know how to violently isolate themselves from others and from their own humanity. These stories are ostensibly about monsters, but really, they explore what it means to be human. Monsters are the things we carry with us, the things we want to escape, but DiFrancesco shows us monsters are also nothing to fear or run from. Monsters are outsiders and outliers, creatures who live on the boundaries of society and demand to be seen or feared, but they can’t be ignored. In Transmutation, the monsters are honored and welcomed as a more true version of their original form, if they started as human, or an idealized version of human potential. They are, too, the creeping horror of monsters that live among us—seen, but still not known until it’s too late.”

– Jessica Mannion, The Rumpus

“DiFrancesco’s sharp and sometimes fantastical collection (after the novel All City) depicts a series of challenges faced by outsiders. Junie, the young trans protagonist of “Inside My Saffron Cave” suffers the tyranny of her mother’s abusive boyfriend Chad, whose house they’ve just moved into. “The Ledger of the Deep” portrays a warmer familial relationship, but not one without problems. The complexity of Dad’s feelings is represented by his resistance to renaming Sara, his beloved boat, now that daughter Sara has become Sawyer. The collection’s title signals DiFrancesco’s often whimsical exploration of various types of change. In “The Disappearance,” an aging academic’s public screed against minority poets leads to his literal progressive vanishing. The boundless love of a vampire lies at the center of “The Pure,” while gypsies and a monster inhabit the eerie folkloric “The Wind, the Wind.” “The Chuck Berry Tape Massacre” is the longest and most ambitious story, with parallel woven narratives. One thread follows the descent into lunacy of single mother Kay and the abandonment of her two daughters; the other fancifully charts the obsessive quest of a music lover named Jack Tran. How these narratives connect is left to the reader to decide. Whether striking chords that are playful, poignant, or both at once, this collection consistently charms.”

“The novel is a very astute critique of wealth disparity…The interior lives of DiFrancesco’s characters are rich and move with momentum. The plot is laced with sly commentaries on gender, income inequality, and gentrification (the way disaster and struggle can be spun by craven opportunists into something that later hangs in a museum, removed from the context which gave it meaning). DiFrancesco illuminates this landscape with nimble prose and complex characters, which feel shockingly familiar.”

~Lambda Literary review of All City

All City is an important book, and very possibly a prophetic one. All City speaks for the people whose stories do not often get told, much less told with nuance and compassion.”

-Jessica Mannion in PANK

“Alex DiFranceso’s new book is set in the near future, but some may find it a bit too near for comfort. After New York City is devastated by climate change, gentrification and capitalism and then engulfed by a superstorm, several survivors, including genderqueer anarchist Jesse and convenience store worker Makayla, try to make their way in this new reality—which could be our own sooner than we realize if we don’t heed this warning.”

All City in Ms. Magazine‘s “Reads for the Rest of Us”

“In this warm and lovely novel set in a near-future New York battered by climate change and gentrification, DiFrancesco (Psychopomps) braids together art, power, crisis, and community organizing…this loving, grieving warning thoughtfully traces the resilience, fragility, and joy of precarious communities in an immediate, compassionate voice.”

– Review of All City at Publisher’s Weekly

“Alex DiFrancesco’s novel All City is a gem of speculative fiction, a book that deftly explores the near future while examining current issues like gender, climate change, and income inequality.”

Largehearted Boy

“A unique and original dystopian novel by a master of the genre, Alex DiFrancesco’s All City is a simply riveting read from cover to cover…certain to be an enduringly popular addition to both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.”

-Mid West Book Review

“This book asks us to consider some hard shit, and why shouldn’t we? Still, I read it in two hours and held it to my heart when I finished.”

– Carley Moore on Psychopomps at Electric Literature

“Alex DiFrancesco is a storyteller who captures hearts as well as minds, providing the light and voice to many readers who still find themselves in situations where their voices aren’t heard. Psychopomps is tender, raw, and at times challenging to read, but there is room for humor, too. DiFrancesco proves to be a truly singular voice in the world of nonfiction.

– Review of Psychopomps at Independent Book Review 

“Alex DiFrancesco packs a ton of insight into this slim essay collection, writing frankly about their years spent figuring out their identity, navigating complicated relationships, surviving mental illness, and contending with the often overwhelming desire to abandon everything and just disappear. Most compelling, though, is DiFrancesco’s work toward finding evidence of connections between them and others in the trans community — both presently and in the past.”

— Arianna Rebolini on Psychopomps at BuzzFeed Books

“…one of the most heartbreaking collections I’ve read…”

–Andrew Byrds, on Psychopomps in Entropy

“Alex Difrancesco’s Psychopomps is an incisive and important essay collection.”

Largehearted Boy

“DiFrancesco feels deeply, but passes their emotions off as casual. The book is about loves and losses, connections and longing, social justice, and heartbreak.”

The Lower East Side Librarian on Psychopomps

” The world and characters are perhaps a bit realer than is comfortable, and gets even realer when it gets further into the metaphorical than the actual world would normally allow. Regardless, it has a serious pull, an undertow, that rips the reader right along. The Devils That Have Come to Stay is a fascinating book with some riveting writing.”


“Difrancesco’s acid Western is an intriguing combination of Jack London and Stephen King.”

–Historical Novel Society

“[Alex] DiFrancesco harkened back to the acid Westerns of the ’60s and ’70s with a dose of magical realism thrown in for [their] novel, The Devils That Have Come to Stay, a strange tale of gold fever and greed.”

–The Old West, Circa 2015, NoveList

“In [their] starkly beautiful, poetic novel The Devils That Have Come to Stay, [Alex] DiFrancesco takes us into a dark and violent world that only gets darker with each turn of the page.”

–Small Press Picks

“A newer talent which does reveal the scaffolding of the writing process is that of [Alex] DiFrancesco in “The Chuck Berry Tape Massacre.” The account of mother love swamped by mental illness, child neglect, singing, and rock ‘n’ roll unfolds through discrete scenes that the reader pieces together only gradually. Despite surreal juxtapositions, jerky movement, and painful scenes, DiFrancesco finally bestows on [their] characters redemption and even immortality. [They] communicate the tragedy of human suffering.”

-New Pages