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The Author

Kinsella Canadian author W.P. “Bill” Kinsella was a legendary fiction and short story writer, best known for his award-winning novel, and this year’s One Book One Siouxland selection, Shoeless Joe.

Kinsella’s first taste of writing success came at the early age of fourteen, when he won a YMCA contest. Not long afterwards, he began taking writing courses and received his bachelor of arts in creative writing from the University of Victoria. He went on to earn a master of fine arts in English through the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. Before becoming a professional author, Kinsella spent some time as a professor of English at the University of Calgary.

In addition to Shoeless Joe, Kinsella wrote other fiction, including The Iowa Baseball Confederacy, Magic Time, If Wishes Were Horses, and Butterfly Winter. He is also known for writing baseball short story collections, the fictional Hobbema Indian Reserve stories, and the novels Box Socials and The Winter Helen Dropped By. Kinsella’s short story “Lieberman in Love”, from the book Red Wolf, Red Wolf, was adapted for film, which won an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film at the 1996 Academy Awards.

Arguably his most famous novel, Shoeless Joe took on a new life when it was made into the legendary baseball film, “Field of Dreams” in 1989. The author’s inspirational words, which defined both the novel and the film—“If you build it, he will come,” “Go the distance,” and even “Field of dreams”—have taken their place in literary history.

Publishing more than 25 books in his lifetime, W.P. Kinsella passed away in September 2016 at the age of 81.

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