W.P. Kinsella



Areas of Research & Creative Activity

Fiction, stage, screen.


W.P. Kinsella (BFA, 1974) describes himself as "one of these people who woke up at age five knowing how to read and write." As a child, he was an avid reader who developed a keen interest in baseball, although he himself was never much of a player. At age 14 he won a YMCA contest for a short story called "Diamond Doom" about a murder in a ballpark; at 18, he published a sci-fi story about a totalitarian society. After moving to Victoria in 1967, he began taking writing courses at UVic in 1970, mainly benefiting from the tutelage of author W.D. Valgardson. Kinsella's phrase. "if you build it he will come," has entered everyday speech from his story Shoeless Joe, which was made into the Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams. In addition to Field of Dreams and Dance Me Outside, movies were made of his short stories "The Job", "Lieberman in Love", "John Cat" and "Caroline (The Sense She Was Born With)". His characters also populate the TV series The Rez. He has published more than 30 books of fiction, as well as hundreds of short stories, articles, stage plays and screenplays.
He received the Leacock Medal for Humour in 1987 and has won the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Canadian Authors Association Fiction Award and has received both the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia. Kinsella is now "unintentionally retired" and lives in relative seclusion in the Fraser Canyon following a near-fatal accident during which he was struck down by a car while walking near his home.

Selected Publications


Shoeless Joe, Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt




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