"Even the anaconda needs a wellness exam; even the crickets need to be fed; even the fish need water; even the gorillas need quiet."


When a recent grad takes a summer zoo internship, it's supposed to be a rebel detour before adulthood. But over the summer, the zoo and its humans deliver much more. A story of awakening exploring love, death, biology and privilege, rich with the genius of squirrels, the grace of otters, the gorillas' need for quiet and the bovine dreams of whitetail deer. Funny, meditative and deeply human, THE WORLD AND THE ZOO is a masterful short novel, carving a delicate path full of breathtaking details.


"Rob Roensch is the Jim Jarmusch of Central Oklahoma zoo-fiction—contemplative and dreamy and in awe of the strange. The World and the Zoo is so carefully observed that the sound of an insect can fill the limits of perception, the sight of a bird’s wing can reconstitute a grackle into something beautiful. This book’s tenderness amplifies the tenderness of being on the outer edge of being young—where nights are wide open and everything seems to be beginning and ending and straining toward the future."

Benjamin Warner, author of Thirst


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Rob Roensch is the author of The Wildflowers of Baltimore, winner of The International Scott Prize for Short Stories, published by Salt Publishing in 2012. He has published short fiction in American Short Fiction, Epoch and elsewhere. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife and two daughters.


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"They sound like malfunctioning appliances..."

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The World and The Zoo
Rob Roensch
150 pages
$10.00 paperback ISBN 9781944853679
$5.00 ebook
February 2020



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