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Belle Point Press

In the Morning, The City is the Prairie

In the Morning, The City is the Prairie

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In the Morning, The City is the Prairie, by Rob Roensch

From the author of The World and the Zoo comes a new coming-of-age story as powerful as the Southern Plains landscape that surrounds it. With echoes of The Moviegoer, In the Morning, The City is the Prairie follows Matt Bennet, a soulful yet aimless twenty-something who has little more to offer than a Costco discount while living with his parents in Oklahoma City.

Confronted by a family health crisis, Matt becomes more attuned to the needs of those he loves—and how he can best fit himself into the world—largely inspired by the more passionate and ambitious young women in his life: his girlfriend, a public school teacher participating in the Oklahoma teachers’ strike of 2018, and his younger sister, a teenage idealist determined to make a difference. Throughout the novel, Rob Roensch raises the question of what we can see if we learn how to look.

Rob Roensch is the author of the novella The World and the Zoo (Outpost19) and the story collection The Wildflowers of Baltimore (Salt). He lives in Oklahoma City and teaches at Oklahoma City University.

 Praise for In the Morning, The City is the Prairie:

"In the Morning, The City is the Prairie is an achingly funny and sad read. Seen through the eyes of college dropout Matt Bennet, Oklahoma City is surreal: spiked with skyscrapers and paved with squat chain stores that grip a dying earth beneath a boundless sky. Roensch’s astonishing, poetic prose kept me reading for the surprise of each sentence."

-Chris Harding Thornton, author of Pickard County Atlas and Little Underworld

"Set during a recent, turbulent summer in Oklahoma City, Rob Roensch’s engrossing new novel drops us into the rich, quirky mind of Matt, a college dropout/reluctant Costco cashier who’s trying to figure out what and who is worth fighting for as his family—and the entire country, it seems—falls apart around him. Searching, funny, and wise, In the Morning, The City is the Prairie is both a moving coming-of-age novel and an urgent investigation into what will actually be required if we’re to remain hopeful in this beautiful, broken world."

-Mark Rader, author of The Wanting Life

Interview with Rob for The World and the Zoo

"On Writing Oklahoma City" (essay by Rob in Front Porch Republic)


    • Publication date: November 7, 2023
    • ISBN: 978-1-960215-09-3
    • Pages: 182
    • Trim Size: 5.5" x 8.5"

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