Tell Me I'm Worthless

Formats and Prices


Trade Paperback


Trade Paperback

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around January 17, 2023. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Alison Rumfitt’s Tell Me I’m Worthless is a dark, unflinching haunted house story that confronts both supernatural and real-world horrors through the lens of the modern-day trans experience.

“Alison is like the twisted daughter of Clive Barker and Shirley Jackson. Tell Me I’m Worthless is an intense read full of shocks and buckets of gore. It’s brilliant.” –Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author

“A triumph of transgressive queer horror.” Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

Three years ago, Alice spent one night in an abandoned house with her friends, Ila and Hannah. Since then, Alice’s life has spiraled. She lives a haunted existence, selling videos of herself for money, going to parties she hates, drinking herself to sleep.

Memories of that night torment Alice, but when Ila asks her to return to the House, to go past the KEEP OUT sign and over the sick earth where teenagers dare each other to venture, Alice knows she must go.

Together, Alice and Ila must face the horrors that happened there, must pull themselves apart from the inside out, put their differences aside, and try to rescue Hannah, whom the House has chosen to make its own.

Cutting, disruptive, and darkly funny, Tell Me I’m Worthless is a vital work of trans fiction that examines the devastating effects of trauma and how fascism makes us destroy ourselves and each other.

“Easily one of the strongest horror debuts in recent memory.” Booklist, STARRED review

Also by Alison Rumfitt:


Part 2: Irreversible Damage
Part 3: The Dance of Albion
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Jenn and Ellis from Cipher have provided me with a valuable platform that I never expected to get. It feels so surreal to me every day that this book is a thing. Thank you so, so much, for taking a chance on an extremely wild and gross book that I was certain was unpublishable. And thank you to Wolf and to Wolf’s wife, too, for the brilliant cover.

During the initial drafting process, some people were kind enough to read this book. Mimi, Emily Bergslien and Kat Weaver, Constance Savage, Francine Toon, Harry Josephine Giles: thank you all so much, without your helpful comments and feedback I would probably have given up on it.

Thank you to Kat Sinclair, Nehaal Bajwa and James Garwood Cole, for your nights and days of friendship. May we chill out together again soon.

I started writing this book at the urging of Jess Burgess, and read them the opening in their living room whilst drinking hot tea that they brought to me. They said they liked it. They later read a first draft and cried at the ending, which made me feel powerful.

Julia Armfield and Rosalie Bower thank you for keeping my head from melting, and for hyping this book up. Thank you to Eliza Clark in this regard as well.

Christie – Princess Prosecco is going to fuck the world up.

This novel is indebted to the grand tradition of queer horror, from Shirley Jackson and Daphne Du Maurier to Helen Oyeyemi and Clive Barker. There are more writers that I love than I can name here, but their work is folded into every sentence of what I write.

Tell Me I’m Worthless was written in the haze of the first Lockdown, after I retreated from the very small room I rented in someone else’s house back to my parents’ place. So firstly I have to thank them, for providing me with a place to hide from the world for a little while, and for forcing me to go outside and touch grass every couple of days. But they probably shouldn’t be reading this, considering they aren’t meant to be reading the book due to all the sex, so they’ll never know I thanked them here. So it goes.

In the summer of 2021 I met and fell in love with Oleander Gravett. The text of these acknowledgements was already set back then for the initial UK publication, and it would have been a little strange to mention her given we’d only just found one another. However, I’d like to thank her here for welcoming me into her life and for enriching it in every way.

I’d also like to thank Kristin Temple and the team at Nightfire who worked on the US publication of this book for being surprisingly receptive to not changing references to British things, and for putting together such a cool cover, and for publishing me alongside so many wonderful books.

On Sale
Jan 17, 2023
Page Count
272 pages