The Wildflowers of Baltimore is a collection of stories about young men on high-stakes searches for love, truth and understanding.
In many cases, the searching young men discover that the answers they come to are both more challenging and less comforting than what they thought they were going to find. In “Stillborn Giraffe,” an unreflective college student finds himself suddenly faced with the essential truth of life and death in the form of a giraffe struggling to give birth. In “Hush,” a girl goes missing, and a new father is cajoled by an old friend with a checkered past into joining the search party. What the search party finds is not what they expect.
As these characters search the world, they must also search themselves. The stories in The Wildflowers of Baltimore are about characters seeking answers to life’s biggest questions, whether they know it or not: What does it mean to be a man? A father? What does it mean to love? to be alive? How should one live?
‘The Wildflowers of Baltimore is tenderly elegiac and beautifully haunting. Once you enter the exquisitely vivid world of Rob Roensch's stories you can't help but see your own world with greater clarity.’ —Jessica Anya Blau, Author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and Drinking Closer to Home
‘An extraordinary collection from a brilliant young writer. In The Wildflowers of Baltimore, Roensch manages to give us biting, tough realism, while leaving just enough space for the imagination to play, for his people to recover, and for real hope to take root. Reading this book is like strolling through a shared garden plot tended by Jayne Anne Phillips, Stringer Bell, and Manet.’ —Patrick Somerville, author of This Bright River and The Cradle