Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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Transgressive, transformative short stories that explore the margins of trans lives.

Building on the success of All City, here is a wry, and at the same time dark and risk-taking, story collection from author (and baker) Alex DiFrancesco that pushes the boundaries of transgender awareness and filial bonds. Here is the hate between 16-year-old Junie, who is transitioning, and her mom's boyfriend Chad when the family moves into Chad's house on Lake Erie. And here is the love being tested between Sawyer and his dad, who named his boat after his child and resists changing it from Sara to Sawyer now. There is DiFrancesco's willingness to enter lands that are violent and comfortless in some of these stories, testing the limits of what it means to be human, sometimes returning stronger and wiser and sometimes not returning at all as their characters surge forward into unknown spaces.

DiFrancesco's first novel All City (Seven Stories 2019) was praised by Publishers Weekly as a "loving, grieving warning [that] thoughtfully traces the resilience, fragility, and joy of precarious communities in an immediate, compassionate voice." All City was one of BookRiot's "Best Post-Apocalyptic Books of 2019," Entropy Mag's "Best of 2019," and Largehearted Boy's "Favorite Novels of 2019." It was a finalist for the 2019 Ohioana Book Award for Fiction.

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Transmutation is an eerie darling of a collection. Alex DiFrancesco has written stories here that are so unearthly they feel as if they have gossamer wings, characters lifting off the page to hold court in startling three-dimensional life. Some playful, some terrifying, all crafted with care–– Transmutation is the kind of story collection that will stick with you for days after reading. DiFrancesco is a radiant talent.”

Transmutation is an innovative, magical collection about all the things that pulse with possibility: love in all forms, belonging, reckoning, and reclamation. Each sentence is a gem, multi-faceted and full of light. Alex DiFrancesco has the kind of imagination that saves lives.

“DiFrancesco’s characters are not simply reflections of who we appear to be, they are our real selves, the ones we try so very hard to keep hidden. These stories lay them bare and demand that we acknowledge them in all of their wondrous imperfection. Grimy, raw, and glittering with truth, these are portraits of the human heart.”

This memorable collection of short stories displays the wild talent of Alex DiFrancesco to push boundaries and explore the imagination while simultaneously comforting and strengthening their readers.

“These stories howl like Greek furies about everyday cruelty and the queer monstrous that lives to spite it. Our Nick Cave heir apparent, DiFrancesco here advances the project of the Transmasculine Gothic with a haunting instrumentation and an elegiac rage.”

“Multilayered, poetic, insightful stories that won't let you put them down. Transmutation is simultaneously an absolute pleasure and heartache of a read. I thought about the stories in this book for weeks after I finished them, reliving the small details, searching for new meaning, which I always found.”

“In Transmutation, monsters come in many forms but so does grace. Here you will find a merciful vampire, a shrewd lobotomized woman, a repentant rock star, a trans girl finding kinship with a mythical green hag. Alex DiFrancesco’s characters are outsiders, often victims of a cruel world, but they are never just victims. These masterfully wrought stories transmute suffering into a kind of triumph, in which harsh realities are never softened but are somehow, sometimes, transcended.”

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Alex DiFrancesco has published fiction in The Carolina QuarterlyThe New Ohio Review, and Monkeybicycle. They are a winner of Sundress Academy for the Arts' 2017 OutSpoken contest for LGBTQ+ writing. DiFrancesco's non-fiction has appeared in The Washington PostTin HouseLongreadsBrevity, and was a finalist in Cosmonaut Avenue's inaugural non-fiction prize. Their storytelling has been featured at The Fringe Festival, Life of the Law, The Queens Book Festival, and The Heart podcast. DiFrancesco is also a skilled bread baker and pastry chef, and a passionate activist and advocate.