Milk Blood Heat
SHORTLISTED FOR THE PEN/JEAN STEIN AND PEN/ROBERT W. BINGHAM AWARDS
A NATIONAL BOOK FOUNDATION 5 UNDER 35
"A gorgeous debut" (Lauren Groff) 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.
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.
From School Library Journal
A hauntingly beautiful collection of lyrical stories connected by themes of tragedy, self-actualization, and that murky time between girlhood and adulthood. Each entry is quiet yet powerful, exploring characters as they grapple with a flux in their life. Set against a Florida background, this collection focuses on Black lives and Black communities. Each story is somber in its own way, and yet also conveys strength and sometimes a glint of optimism. "The Heart of Our Enemies" explores the dynamic between mother and daughter. What starts as a story exploring the shame a young girl might feel over her mother's indiscretions, ends in a mother's revenge against a sexually abusive high school teacher. The content is for mature readers, containing themes of suicidal ideation, rape, sexual abuse, miscarriage, and depression. Teens will be drawn to this collection for its honest portrayal of characters and societal pressures. VERDICT Perfect for fans of Sophia Thakur's Somebody Give This Heart a Pen, Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You, and the film Moonlight, Moniz's debut will not disappoint.-Melanie Leivers, Burnsville, MNα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.