A thirteen-year-old girl watches her white best friend totter along the edge of a building roof; a woman who lost her child in its first trimester finds empathy and horror in the waters of a city aquarium; a mother protects her teen daughter from a predatory love interest by taking revenge over a very French supper; and two estranged siblings take a road-trip with their dead father’s ashes – rediscovering one another and reckoning with all the ways that trust can be betrayed and love can be redeemed.
Set in the suburbs and the cities of the modern world but about the ancient essences of who and what we are, Milk Blood Heat is a collection of love and sex, birth and death. Through the stories of ordinary characters confronted by extraordinary moments of violent yet often beautiful reckoning, Dantiel W. Moniz contemplates human connection, race, womanhood, inheritance, and the elemental darkness in us all. Wise and subversive, spiritual and seductive, Milk Blood Heat showcases that the world in which we live can be a place of obstacles and heartbreak… but also one of grace and splendour.
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 or is forthcoming in theParis Review, Tin House, Ploughshares, American Short Fiction, Yale Review, One Story, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and elsewhere. Milk Blood Heat is her first book. She lives in Northeast Florida.
Read: Exotics, Oprah Magazine
Review: Dantiel W. Moniz’s ‘Milk Blood Heat’ thrums with life while considering death, Washington Post
Writing prompt: Think back to your first job. What were your duties? Who did you meet? Sketch out some details and then free-write for 10 minutes.