Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Milk Blood Heat

by Dantiel Moniz

“A gorgeous debut” (Lauren Groff) from one of the most exciting discoveries in today’s literary landscape

  • Imprint Grove Hardcover
  • Page Count 208
  • Publication Date February 02, 2021
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-5815-4
  • Dimensions 5.625" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $25.00
  • Imprint Grove Hardcover
  • Publication Date February 02, 2021
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-5816-1
  • US List Price $25.00

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.

Praise for Milk Blood Heat:

A Roxane Gay Audacious Bookclub April Pick
An Indie Next Pick

One of O, The Oprah Magazine’s “55 Most Anticipated Books of 2021”
One of Alma’s “Favorite Books for Winter 2021”
One of Essence’s “21 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2021”
One of Electric Literature’s “43 Books By Women of Color to Read in 2021,” selected by RO Kwon
One of Electric Literature’s “27 Debuts to Look Forward To in the First Half of 2021,” selected by Adam Vitcavage
One of The Rumpus’s “What To Read When 2021 Is Just Around The Corner”
One of Write or Die Tribe’s “21 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2021”

“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

“Moniz has won multiple awards for her individual stories, and this excellent debut collection shows why… she nails aching moments of naked human emotion in direct if luscious language… While many story collections suffer from a sameness of theme, character, or plot, that’s not a problem here. The tales are generally set in Florida, but the similarities end there; each entry is distinctive in its premise, and each will surprise the reader in a different way. What gives the collection coherence is Moniz’s distinctive vision. VERDICT Highly recommended; catch this writer early in her game.”—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal (starred review)

“Each story is filled with such vivid detail and a clear sense of character; you’ll never want them to run out.”—Alma

“Characters wade through family obligations, and personal contradictions in this collection of short stories set in sunshine state. Study the intergenerational struggles of a group of people fighting to define themselves in North Florida and be forced to think twice before shaming their choices.”—Keyaira Boone, Essence (“21 Books We Can’t Wait To Read In 2021”)

“In Moniz’s debut collection, girls seethe and women scorn in the houses and bars and schoolyards of Florida… Every story in this book feels soaked with heat and blood and wanting and a slice—sometimes more—of danger.”—Emily Temple, Literary Hub

“The stories in Milk Blood Heat are glorious. We meet an eclectic cast of Floridians grappling with questions of what it is to be human and how to live in the world: difference, girlhood, womanhood, manhood, pleasure, loss, and the visceral desire to belong. The prose pulsates with wonderment, easing us into moments of discovery that surprise, and deepen, both our and the characters’ sense of the world. I enjoyed, particularly, the ways in which these stories are filled with incisive bursts of ecstasy, broadening our experience of joy and heartache.”—Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, The Millions (Year in Reading)

“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 (starred review)

Milk Blood Heat is a seething excavation of want and human error. Moniz writes about the hard incongruities of intimacy with great urgency and tenderness.”—Raven Leilani, author of Luster

“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

“Dantiel W. Moniz sings of Florida, girlhood, family, loss, and the glorious, ecstatic, devastating human body. A gorgeous debut from a wickedly talented new writer.”—Lauren Groff, author of Florida

“The stories in this book are rigorous and complex, lush and surprising. They are visceral, full of the intimate awe of existing in flesh. A wonder of a debut.”—Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Friday Black

“These stories and the characters that drive them are like lightning—spectacular, beautiful, carrying a hint of danger. Dantiel Moniz is a brilliant new talent, her writing lush and sharp, her landscape so rich it feels we could step into it, her characters so alive and full of longing that they might step of the page and take the reader with them wherever they’re headed next. Milk Blood Heat is a stunning and important debut.”—Danielle Evans, author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self

“The stories in this memorable debut have the mood of late summer evenings, sultry and dark, thick with the heat of minds and bodies engaged in sin and transgression, suffused with complicated desire, boldness, and shame. I suggest you pay attention to this book and to this voice, wherever it goes on to take us. With this cast of lovable, heartbreaking characters, Dantiel Moniz is announcing her incredible range and sensitivity, as well as her fearlessness in looking squarely at our human condition, in all its raggedness and beauty.”—Jamel Brinkley, author of A Lucky Man

“Wild and lush, Milk Blood Heat is teeming with complex women and girls: the contours of their relationships, their fears, their many desires. Moniz mesmerizes and unnerves in prose so precise and decadent it rises to incantation.”—Kimberly King Parsons, author of Black Light

“There’s a comfort and a piercing in these stories, a prickling on the skin, an astutely honest gaze sometimes searing through places and emotions I both wanted to escape and to linger with. Moniz has crafted a stunning debut collection of stories with living, pinprickly prose, like a hot Florida day or a finger traced up the back… at once otherworldly and completely real.”—Nafissa Thompson-Spires, author of Heads of the Colored People

“A collection for the ages, incandescent and seething. Equal parts grief, violence, and want, and you’ll be glad for this jagged awakening.”—T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

Author Tour Dates



Coral Gables, FL


In conversation with Lauren Groff

Event link here



San Francisco, CA


In conversation with C Pam Zhang

Event link here



Brooklyn, NY


Event link to come



Washington DC


In conversation with T Kira Madden

Event link to come



Madison, WI


Wisconsin Book Festival in partnership with the UW Program

In conversation with Laddee Hubbard (The Rib King)

Event link here



Brooklyn, NY


In conversation with Jamel Brinkley

Event link here

7:30 PM ET


Denver, CO


In conversation with Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Event link to come



Birmingham, AL


In conversation with Deesha Philyaw

Event link here