W. P. Kinsella

W. P. Kinsella

William Patrick Kinsella, OC, OBC (born May 25, 1935) is a Canadian novelist and short story writer who is well-known for his novel "Shoeless Joe" (1982) which was adapted into the movie "Field of Dreams" in 1989. His work has often concerned baseball, which is shown in all of his novels. His work also concerned Canada's First Nations and other Canadian issues.

William Patrick Kinsella was born to Irish American parents named John Matthew Kinsella and Olive Kinsella in Edmonton, Alberta. Kinsella was raised until he was 10 years-old at a homestead near Darwell, Alberta, 60 km west of the city, home-schooled by his mother and taking correspondence courses. "I'm one of these people who woke up at age five knowing how to read and write," he says. [BC Bookword Author Bank, http://www.abcbookworld.com/?state=view_author&author_id=2671] When he was ten, the family moved to Edmonton.

As an adult, he held a variety of jobs in Edmonton, including as a clerk for the Government of Alberta and managing a credit bureau. In 1967, he moved to Victoria, British Columbia, running a pizza restaurant called Caesar's Italian Village and driving a taxi.

Though he had been writing since he was a child (winning a YMCA contest at age 14), he began taking writing courses at the University of Victoria in 1970, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing there in 1974. He travelled down to Iowa and earned a Master of Fine Arts in English degree through the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1978. In 1991, he was presented with an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from the University of Victoria.

Kinsella's first published book was called "Dance Me Outside" (1977) which was a collection of seventeen short stories about the lives of people in an Ontario based Indian reserve. Even though "Dance Me Outside" received much critical acclaim and was adapted into a film of the same name and a television miniseries, Kinsella's most famous work is his novel "Shoeless Joe" (1982), upon which the movie "Field of Dreams" was based. A short story by Kinsella, "Lieberman in Love", was the basis for a short film that won the Academy Award for Live Action Short Film – the Oscar win came as a surprise to the author, who, watching the award telecast from home, had no idea the film had been made and released. He had not been listed in the film's credits, and was not acknowledged by director Christine Lahti in her acceptance speech – a full-page advertisement was later placed in "Variety" apologizing to Kinsella for the error. Kinsella's eight books of short stories about life on a First Nations reserve were the basis for the movie "Dance Me Outside" and CBC television series "The Rez", both of which Kinsella considers very poor quality. The collection "Fencepost Chronicles" won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour in 1987. The short story "The Last Pennant Before Armageddon" was adapted by the stage by the Live Bait Theater in Chicago in 1990.

Before becoming a professional author, he was a professor of English at the University of Calgary in Alberta. Kinsella suffered a car accident in 1997 which resulted in the end of his fiction-writing career. He is a noted tournament Scrabble player, becoming more involved with the game after being disillusioned by the 1994 Major League Baseball strike. He currently lives in Yale, British Columbia with his fourth wife, Barbara, and occasionally writes articles for various newspapers.

In the year 1993, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2005, he was awarded the Order of British Columbia.

Selected bibliography

Shoeless Joe" (1982), Kinsella's most famous work.

* "Dance Me Outside", (1977, short stories)
* "Scars", (1978, short stories)
* "Shoeless Joe Jackson Goes To Iowa", (1980, short stories)
* "Born Indian", (1981, short stories)
* "Shoeless Joe", (1982, novel, winner of the 1983 Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship)
* "Moccasin Telegraph", (1983, short stories)
* "The Thrill of the Grass", (1984, short stories)
* "The Last Pennant Before Armageddon", (1984, short stories)
* "Five Stories", (1985, short stories)
* "The Alligator Report", (1985, short stories)
* "The Iowa Baseball Confederacy", (1986, novel)
* "The Fencepost Chronicles", (1986, short stories, winner of the 1987 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour)
* "Red Wolf, Red Wolf", (1987, short stories)
* "The Further Adventures of Slugger McBatt", (1988, short stories)
* "The Miss Hobbema Pageant", (1989, short stories)
* "Rainbow Warehouse", (1989, poetry)
* "Box Socials", (1991, novel)
* "The Dixon Cornbelt League and Other Baseball Stories", (1993, short stories)
* "Brother Frank's Gospel Hour", (1994, short stories)
* "If Wishes Were Horses", (1996, short stories)
* "Magic Time", (1998, novel)
* "The Secret of the Northern Lights", (1998, short stories)
* "Baseball Fantastic", (2000, short stories)
* "Japanese Baseball and Other Stories", (2000, short stories)


External links

* [http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0004326 W. P. Kinsella's] entry in [http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=HomePage&Params=A1 "The Canadian Encyclopedia"]
* [http://www.uta.edu/english/tim/baseball/kinsella.html An annotated bibliography of his writings on baseball]
* [http://www.carillon.uregina.ca/99.09.30/feature/accident.html Article on Kinsella's 1997 accident]
* [http://www.uiowa.edu/admissions/undergrad/after-grad/writers.htm Notable Writers among Iowa Alumni]
* [http://ring.uvic.ca/97oct31/kinsella.html "Kinsella gives award money to his Alma Mater"]
*imdb name|name=W. P. Kinsella|id=0455875
* [http://smokelong.com/flash/8010.asp "Waiting on Lombard Street"] , short story in "SmokeLong Quarterly", June 15, 2008

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