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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
There’s a river of emotion running through Dantiel W. Moniz’s moving short-story collection, ready to sweep you away at any moment. All set in Florida, these stories feel connected not just by their setting but by their frank, plainspoken themes of loss and regret. A teen girl tries to understand friendship in the midst of a tragedy. A pair of siblings struggle with the crater their recently deceased father left in their lives. Moniz writes with quiet intensity that makes every character’s deep interior world feel palpable and real—and incredibly poignant. Whether it’s the strained lengths a daughter will go to as she tries not to disappoint her mother or the surreal darkness engulfing a woman going through a miscarriage, every tale sheds a candid new light on the process of grief. “Listening to the audiobook for the first time was wild—hearing my words read in someone else’s voice!” Moniz tells Apple Books. “The ways in which Machelle Williams brought my characters to life made the book that much more real and separate from me.” Dealing beautifully with one of the most universal aspects of the human condition, Milk Blood Heat is both poetic and cathartic.