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The Stories




"The Quail"

         By Rolf Yngve



                      Quarterly West  Student Fiction Prize

                      Best American Short Stories, 1979


          "The quail came just before the lilacs bloomed in the  green time of their first spring married. The morning was the first warm morning with no frost, only dew. Feeling sun on the bed she rose earlier than usual; when she saw the quail in the back yard she woke him. He saw eight birds scratching earth and pecking in the landlord's garden." 






Read The Quail

“Going After His Brother”
Glimmer Train Issue 77
Winter 2011 
Third, Family Affairs Contest, 2009


This story owes a great deal to Robert Bozwell and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. It owes a great deal to Updike’s early short stories. But it owes most to the great friendship between my father, John, and his brother, Albert.


Eclipse Fall 2009 

Bart Edelman, editor of Eclipse, liked this story of dead cats and water boards. This came out of the sense of being caught immobile after I retired from the Navy. This story owes a lot to beat poets, Jack Kerouac, David Kranes and the first paragraphs of Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent.

“The Quail”
  Quarterly West, 1978
  Best American Short Stories,
  and other anthologies. 

This story belongs to my teacher, Professor Hal Moore. It was written for his workshop after Max Zimmer, Ron Johnson, Bruce Weigl and others eviscerated a story that shall never leave my mind, or hands. Out of fear, I let Hemingway, H.H.Munro, and Faulkner sing to me for my next submission. Fred Chappel and Maxine Kumin picked it for a fiction prize. Joyce Carol Oates edited BASS that year. I got word in a telegram sent to me at sea in the Mediterranean. 

“Personal Effects”
Chattaohoochee Review, Spring/Summer 2011
Nominated for a Pushcart Prize 2012

One of a series of stories centered around official directives, this one based upon the direction for inventory of a dead sailor’s effects. There’s a little debt to Tim O’Brien’s work in this. But the story is an old, old one for me— written and rewritten, forgotten and remembered, found and rewritten— it all started when I inventoried the personal effects of a dead sailor in 1979. Steven Dobyns taught me how to write this story in 2010. Lydia Ship, the managing editor at the 'Hooch' reeled me in to publish it. 

     Read “Efendim”
Indiana Review, Spring 2010

Winner, 2009 Indiana Review Fiction Prize

“Efendim” is rewrite of a story I first to put on paper while in command of USS Oldendorf in 1996. I finally saw the way into it after the crew of USS Bainbridge rescued the captain of the Maersk Alabama in April 2009. I owe this story to Heather McHugh, Mc McIlvoy and to Chekov’s story “Gusev”. It is the cutting I took from them to grow the novel Any Watch They Keep.

Greensboro Review Summer 1982 

“Stripping” was drafted in 1978 during my last quarter at the University of Utah and submitted to the Greensboro Review at the end of my first sea-tour as an officer in 1982. The story owes something to Tony Ardizzone. It is the only story I ever wrote out of rage. Not Tony's fault. 

“Clean Fires”

  Quarterly West, 1977 

At Utah, a visiting writer read a story about a man who discovers another man burning in a truck. The protagonist has a gun in his hand. The burning man is in agony. This story comes out of the idea of cleansing fire, the cold, and polished by writing workshops with David Kranes, Hal Moore, and Blanche Cannon.

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