Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Quail - Rolf Yngve

Rolf Yngve born around 1951???

There are times, and those times come in lengthy intervals, when I run across a really good short story. I do hold hope that those times will come with greater frequency as I progress through the years of BASS but for now, finding little treasures like “The Quail” will do just fine.

There was a special feeling that the writing imparted from the first few paragraphs of this story. It had real substance – meat. It was thick and full of flavor, but at the same time easy for the mind to flow over the words and sink into the story.

I found connections with the couple in the story...as I feel that most young couples would. Hope, devotion, longing, wonder, love, warmth and the knowledge underlying it all that all of those feelings is a certain fragility and that at any time one or more of those feelings could be extinguished by a force unseen – or seen. You could say that your life together sometimes would be similar to walking across a frozen lake in spring.

I read the final two paragraphs twice. I wanted to derive from the words their full strength.

Upon reading the biographical notes at the back of the volume, I came across a pleasant surprise.

I’ll reproduce it below.

- Rolf Yngve is a native of Minnesota, has lived in Utah, and is now home-ported in Norfolk, Va. He has been in the Navy for eight years. He holds a B.S. in Meteorology from the University of Utah, obtained through the Navy Enlisted Scientific Education Program. While at Utah, he bootlegged English courses and wrote. ‘The Quail” is his second published story. At sea, he stands watch on the ships bridge, tries very hard to be good to the people who work so hard for him, and writes as well as he can to make himself feel better. He is twenty-eight and married to Gail Flowers.

The first thought that I had when I read this was that it sounded an awful lot like a fragment from the bio’s of authors in the back of “Glimmer Train”. I should also say that that occurred simultaneously with the “Holy crap” moment I experience with the Norfolk connection.

I had to know more about this guy. I fired up the Google machine and “pop” there you go. I see a Rolf Yngve with a Facebook page. I see that some of his interests include those of a literary genre. Hummm...I’d bet this is him. I wrote to him asking if he was in fact the author of “The Quail”. Figured that I’d start there. Early this morning, I discover a nice message from Rolf in my inbox. In short, yes he did write it. Looks like he is writing once again. – Great! - I decided to do some more digging. I find the below on the NewPages Blog

Third place: Rolf Yngve, of Coronado, CA, wins $300 for “Going Back for His Brother”. His story will also be published in an upcoming issue of Glimmer Train Stories, increasing his prize to $700.

Rolf also has a Blogger profile and 2 reviews on Amazon.

I like his “In My Own Words” passage on Amazon.

“It occurred to me that I somehow find things to read not widely known or appreciated. I like a fine turn of phrase, a skilled account, and a humanist's view (humanist in the modern, non-atheistic sense.)”

And appropriately, under interests:

"Reader of non-mainstream literary fiction. I actually subscribe to literary magazines."

Google books returned him in the table of contents of the Quarterly West with a story entitled “Clean Fires”.

I suppose that the above mentioned story is the other published work considering it was contained in an early issue of QW.

“The Quail” was wonderful and I enjoyed my little brush with Rolf. I wish him success in his future writing!

Finally in closing, I should mention that I only include these briefs about the authors as a way to cement them deeper in my memory. Researching them gives me insight to their skills and where they could be operating from. Everything I find about them is freely available on the web or drawn from the bio pages of BASS. I am only mentioning this as to not freak out any of the authors who may stumble across these little postings.

Score 10 out of 10.


  1. Nokaj, Thank you for this lovely post... and your splendid email... I thought you might like to know that a new story, "Efendim" has jsut been announced as the 2009Indiana Fiction Prize winner. Here's a post:


  2. Looking for men who served on the USS King DDG 41. Rolf, I believe you were aboard in late 70s/early 80s. Would like to get your info for our directory. obiekelleher@yahoo.com