A livewire debut from Dantiel W. Moniz, one of the most exciting discoveries in today's literary landscape, Milk Blood Heat depicts the sultry lives of Floridians in intergenerational tales that contemplate human connection, race, womanhood, inheritance, and the elemental darkness...Read More
A livewire debut from Dantiel W. Moniz, one of the most exciting discoveries in today's literary landscape, Milk Blood Heat depicts the sultry lives of Floridians in intergenerational tales that contemplate human connection, race, womanhood, inheritance, and the elemental darkness in us all. Set among the cities and suburbs of Florida, each story delves into the ordinary worlds of young girls, women, and men who find themselves confronted by extraordinary moments of violent personal reckoning. These intimate portraits of people and relationships scour and soothe and blast a light on the nature of family, faith, forgiveness, consumption, and what we may, or may not, owe one another.
A thirteen-year-old meditates on her sadness and the difference between herself and her white best friend when an unexpected tragedy occurs; a woman recovering from a miscarriage finds herself unable to let go of her daughter--whose body parts she sees throughout her daily life; a teenager resists her family's church and is accused of courting the devil; servers at a supper club cater to the insatiable cravings of their wealthy clientele; and two estranged siblings take a road-trip with their father's ashes and are forced to face the troubling reality of how he continues to shape them.
Wise and subversive, spiritual and seductive, Milk Blood Heat forms an ouroboros of stories that bewitch with their truth, announcing the arrival of a bright new literary star.
Dantiel W. Moniz is the recipient of the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction, the Cecelia Joyce Johnson Emerging Writer Award by the Key West Literary Seminars, and a Tin House Scholarship. Her fiction has appeared in Tin House, Ploughshares, the Yale Review, Joyland, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, and elsewhere. Milk Blood Heat is her first book. She lives in Northeast Florida.
"Electric...a tapestry of intimate moments punctuated by Moniz's tight, uncompromising prose." - TIME Magazine
"Mortality is the undercurrent in Dantiel W. Moniz's electrifying debut story collection, Milk Blood Heat, but where there's death there is the whir of life, too. . . . Reading one of Moniz's stories is like holding your breath underwater while letting the salt sting your fresh wounds. It's exhilarating and shocking and even healing. The power in these stories rests in their veracity, vitality and vulnerability." - Michele Filgate, Washington Post
"These stories are fire. . . . This debut collection has staying power, will prove a joy for anyone who loves short stories, and deserves close study . . . Milk Blood Heat should be one of the collections we're discussing, teaching, and rereading for years to come." - Aram Mrjoian, Chicago Review of Books
"Black and Latinx girls and women in Florida are the main characters in Dantiel Moniz's thrilling debut story collection. Not-yet-girls, not-yet-women traffic not in princess dresses but in guts and risk. You think writing about menstruation is taboo? What about little girl characters literally drinking blood? Moniz serves up a feast for anyone ready to move beyond the 'sugar and spice and everything nice' lie." - Jenny Singer, Glamour
"This powerful debut collection is a wonderland of deep female characters navigating their lives against the ever changeable backdrop of Florida. The feminine is sublime throughout these stories, featuring girls and women who are submerged in loss, love, death, temptation, and the cruelty and benevolence of motherhood, two sides of the same coin. Each story vibrates with a thrumming undercurrent of primal power, found in both nature and in the most shadowy parts of ourselves. . . Dark and lushly layered, these stories will bewitch you." - Kirkus Reviews
"Northern Florida looms large over the 11 stories that comprise Moniz's smart debut collection, a comingling of themes of adolescent discovery, family strain, and temptation's dangerous appeal. . . Moniz knows her characters well and writes with confidence throughout, letting narratives meander without losing sight of their destinations. Each of these humanity-studying journeys through the Sunshine State easily stands on its own." - Publishers Weekly
"Fascinating . . . [the stories'] connective moments are both unpredictable and earned. . . This story collection is for readers who want to be both challenged and compelled." - Booklist