Inside the Issue: Rob Roensch reads from “The Zoo and the World”

“The Zoo and the World,” Rob Roensch’s story in the Spring 2014 issue of American Short Fiction, is narrated by a man who has come to rely on his own exceptional competence, but finds himself suddenly out of his element. A rare animal trader, he has learned to value life as both a momentary, beautiful apparition, to be viewed with reverence, and a currency, to be handled practically. Alone, without leave, with his own son, he finds that neither approach helps him weigh the life now in his hands. Roensch’s story, studded brightly with unforgettable images, strikes a wonderful balance between dark violence and tenderness. Here’s Rob, in a segment produced by ASF digital editor Andrew Bales, reading the beginning pages of “The Zoo and the World.”

Thanks for listening in to the podcast. You can find Rob’s entire story, along with others from Antonya Nelson, Karl Taro Greenfeld, Matthew Neill Null, and Tia Clark, by ordering a copy of the issue, here.

Rob Roensch’s first book, a collection of stories titled The Wildflowers of Baltimore, was published by Salt Publishing in 2012. He teaches at Oklahoma City University.

This podcast features music by the Austin band Borrisokane.


ASF Reads