The Education of JJ Pass

Published in 1983 by Canada's prestigious Oberon Press, T. F. Rigelhof's first novel is a chronicle of times remembered.

From his vantage points in present day England and Spain, Alex Ready (a lapsed priest) pulls together the story of Josef Jacob Paszlerowski (his half-brother) and of their years growing up on the Crescents in Regina, SK.

Its 200-plus pages are “a brilliant, moving depiction of the world as seen by a child drifting into manhood.” So wrote Alberto Manguel in Books in Canada (June-July 1983), concluding that “The Education of J. J. Pass brings to mind that other quest for the past, Flaubert’s L'Éducation sentimentale. Of course, Rigelhof is not Flaubert - and yet, as in Flaubert’s novel, the writing recaptures the senses of the years gone by, rebuilding with words a world of smells and sights and sounds. J. J. Pass is a younger brother to Frédéric Moreau. ... The Education of J. J. Pass is a remarkable achievement. A lesser writer might turn his own experiences into the equivalent of family films on a rainy afternoon, produced strictly for personal consumption. Rigelhof instead has taken his experience apart and rebuilt it into a fiction true to life, both moving and revealing. By imagining these memories, he has made our own wiser and richer.”

This book is very difficult to find; but the author has a few mint copies available.