Milk Blood Heat
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.
“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.”—Washington Post
“Life’s inflection points, mundane but universal, mark the Black and brown Floridians who populate these stories . . . But in Moniz’s collection, the ordinary experience of being female is laced with a kind of enchantment. . . . Entire stories seem bathed in a warm radiance . . . One can glow with both love and rage.”—New York Times
“The stories in Moniz’s debut collection—many of which shine a multihued light on Black girlhood in Florida—are to not only be read but felt. Like Danielle Evans and Lauren Groff, Moniz is unafraid to expose the darkened corners of the Sunshine State, and of female desire.”—O, The Oprah Magazine
“Electric…a tapestry of intimate moments punctuated by Moniz’s tight, uncompromising prose.”—TIME Magazine