This Is Our Writing



Punctuate his title as you
like; but, the author considers This Is Our Writing a declaration, an enquiry,
and an exclamation.

As a writer of more than half a dozen,
a reviewer of dozens upon dozens,
and as a reader of a multitude
more books, T. F. Rigelhof knows about writing
in Canada.

This is what reviewers have said:

"Rigelhof is writing in defence of writers he admires and considers unfairly neglected ... Norman Levine, Mavis Gallant, Barbara Gowdy, Steven Heighton (most of the time), Wayne Johnston, Diane Schoemperlen, M.T. Kelly and Keath fraser: people well worth speaking up for, lovers of literature would agree. One of his most fully rounded pieces is his appreciation of Carole Corbeil, written before her recent death; it's a loving look at the works of a novelist few have bothered to think about in such detail.”
- Douglas Fetherling, The Ottawa Citizen

“The gift of Rigelhof's book ... is not to tell us which books ultimately matter. The gift of his book is its powerful argument on behalf of its point of view - its dare to take Canadian literature seriously, holding it up to high standards universally applied..... This is not an academic time, but a serious book for general readers. It is recommended reading for anyone with a love affair with its subject.”
- Michael Bryson, The Danforth Review

“Rigelholf saves his knockout punch for the venerable Robertson Davies, the closest thing Canadian literature has to Santa Claus. If Davies were alive today, he'd be rolling in his grave, to borrow Randy Newman’s line about Karl Marx.”
- Joel Yanofsky, The Montreal Review of Books

“Full of passion and intelligence... Rigelhof is a serious critic , with well-thought-out and convincingly articulated ideas.”
- Douglas Fetherling, The New Brunswick Reader

“Idiosyncratic’ and ‘blunt’ are the obvious adjectives for T.F. Rigelhof's 11 essays.... ‘Vicious’ and ‘funny’ follow right behind.”
- Candace Fertile, The Globe & Mail

“Rigelhof is perversely idiosyncratic and proud of it.... What's more unforgivable is Rigelhof’s tremendous blinkered provincialism... Rigelhof is provocative, often clever, mildly entertaining, vaguely analytical and astonishingly short-sighted.”
- Charles Mandel, The Calgary Herald

“Rigelhof has many virtues as a critic. He is both widely and deeply read... At his best, Rigelhof combines the urgency of good journalism with the depth of a true scholar... He also has an engagingly breezy style... Rigelhof also has to be commended for refusing to play the tired personal and political games that disfigure our literary life... Canada needs more Rigelhofs to stir up debate and more books like This is Our Writing. If we ever required Frye's oppressive paternalism of low expectations, we’ve outgrown that infantile stage of our literary life.”
- Jeet Heer, co-editor of Left History writing in the National Post.