For our second review of March, reviewer Dan Mazzacane digs into Dantiel W. Moniz’s debut collection, Milk Blood Heat, out last month from Grove Press. “Milk Blood Heat aches,” Mazzacane writes. Read on.
“Real gods require blood.” Dantiel W. Moniz’s Milk Blood Heat opens with this haunting epigraph from Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Moniz’s stories require just that. Blood. Life. The people and the world she creates on the page are alive, beating and thriving and demanding to be met on their own terms. Two young girls play at all the ways they can die, just as they are coming into their own bodies. Zey devours every word offered to her, creating a world from their many syllables as she self-destructs. A man vacillates between rage and pain as he mourns his dying wife. In all of these stories: mortality. The beauty and fragility of life set against characters equally delicate.