All Friends Are Necessary: A Novel (Hardcover)
In this joyous, big-hearted novel, Tomas Moniz—a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway and Lambda Literary awards—delivers a commanding new story about the power of friendship, community, and the families we create for ourselves.
Efren “Chino” Flores has just moved back to the Bay Area from Seattle, jumping from sublet to sublet. In Washington, he was a beloved middle school biology teacher with a loving wife, and a child on the way until a stunning loss changed his life. Now, he’s working temp jobs, terrified of commitment, and struggling to put himself back out into the world.
But there to nurture Chino is a coterie of new and old friends and lovers who form a protective web around him. Closest to him are Metal Matt, a red-haired metalhead with a soft spot for Courtney Love and a rangy dog named Sabbath, and Mike and Kay, a couple whose literary edge is matched only by the success of their secret OnlyFans account. As Chino begins to date more men and women—and to open himself up again to love—his bonds with other people grow both rich and profound. Like a fern blooming in the wake of a forest fire, new life comes after even the most devastating upheaval.
With gorgeous, heart-rending detail and a seemingly infinite catalogue of tender, unexpected interactions, Tomas Moniz has created a striking mosaic of desire and belonging that will appeal to fans of Garth Greenwell, Jaquira Díaz, and Patricia Lockwood. An anthem to both queer and platonic love, All Friends Are Necessary evinces the wonder of friendship and the joy of giving yourself up to the essential force of community.
About the Author
Tomas Moniz is a Latinx writer living in Oakland, CA. His debut novel, Big Familia, was a finalist for the 2020 PEN/Hemingway, the LAMBDA, and the Foreward Indies Awards. He edited the popular Rad Dad and Rad Families anthologies. He is the recipient of the prestigious SF Literary Arts Foundation’s 2016 Award and the 2020 Artist Affiliate for Headlands Center for Arts. He currently teaches at Berkeley City College and the Antioch MFA program.
Praise for All Friends Are Necessary:
"Vibrant, alive, and absolutely devastating in its beauty, All Friends Are Necessary is like a late-night phone call with your best friend—exuberant, confessional, and above all, honest. Cutting to the heart of grief in all its multitudes, one man finds his way back to a new version of self after deep loss. Sexy and subversive, I tore through this book, inhaling line after surprising line, feeling myself want to reach into the pages and be saved too."—Chelsea Bieker, author of Godshot and Madwoman
"All Friends Are Necessary brings much needed tenderness, beauty, and hope into the world. This splendid and rejuvenating novel will make you feel so full and alive, held and comforted. Tomas Moniz has created joyous companions and a book to cherish for ages. I love these characters and will miss them endlessly."—Joseph Han, author of Nuclear Family
“Vivid and compelling, All Friends Are Necessary is a celebration of love in all its forms. In the wake of devastating losses and amid the isolation of the pandemic, Efren “Chino” Flores struggles for meaning and connection. In a pitch-perfect portrayal of the Bay Area and beyond, the indelible Flores welcomes us into his circle of friends. A tender, frank, and funny narrative.”—Vanessa Hua, author of Forbidden City
“Tomas Moniz returns with a beautiful, searching novel. All Friends Are Necessary combines the rugged tenderness of Denis Johnson, the poetic geographies of Jimmy Santiago Baca, the frank sexual desire of Garth Greenwell, and the playful joy of Sandra Cisneros into a novel equally heartbreaking and hopeful. This is one of the best books of the year.”—Christian Kiefer, author of The Heart of It All
Praise for Big Familia:
"A standout debut . . . Moniz tells a story that is simultaneously timeless and quite timely . . . Characters deal with and talk about racism and homophobia, gentrification and police brutality. These are some of the challenges they endure as they navigate universally human experiences like connection, community, birth, and death."
—Kirkus (starred review)
"For readers in search of a tautly streamlined, deeply resonating, contemporary family story, Big Familia by Tomas Moniz won't disappoint . . . Without ignoring societal ills—racially charged police violence, incarceration bias, aggressive gentrification, generation gaps—Moniz creates a broadly diverse cast on the verge of transformation. Testing options, pushing past comfort zones and welcoming new bonds result in a big familia well worth getting to know."
"A sharply observed exploration of empty nesting, gentrification, and intercultural intimacy . . . Big Familia captures the joys and uncertainties of family life in modern-day Berkeley . . . [the novel] doesn't dish out big, steaming heaps of drama. Rather, it recounts the smaller moments where a few ill-chosen words can have far-reaching repercussions."
—East Bay Express
"Big Familia is about so many American families—intercultural, gay, straight, divorced but still loving each other with imperfect ferocity."—Michelle Cruz Gonzales, author of The Spitboy Rule
"This long-awaited debut novel is everything fans have come to love in his work and more. Set in the gentrifying Bay Area, Big Familia is deeply personal and lyrical, at once exploring shame, the politic of care, and the meaning of belonging. These characters are people we know—awkward and bursting with all the hurt and love of being fully human. If you’ve never read Moniz before, you’ll be an instant fan. If you’re a longtime reader, you’ll be so happy to come home to this novel."
—Ariel Gore, author of The Wayward Writer and We Were Witches