WP Kinsella, Author Whose Book Inspired ‘Field of Dreams,’ Dies at 81

Canadian writer was best known for the 1982 novel “Shoeless Joe”


Canadian writer W.P. Kinsella, whose 1982 novel “Shoeless Joe” was the basis for the beloved Kevin Costner movie “Field of Dreams,” has died at age 81.

The news was posted on Kinsella’s official website, but there were no details of when or how he died.

During his lifetime, he published nearly 30 books of fiction, nonfiction and poetry — but he is best known for his writing about baseball.

In addition to “Shoeless Joe,” Kinsella wrote “The Iowa Baseball Conspiracy” (1986), “Magic Time” (1988) and “Butterfly Winter” (2011).

He won wide acclaim for “Shoeless Joe” — particularly after director Phil Alden Robinson’s movie adaptation appeared in 1989 and retitled “Field of Dreams.”

The story followed an Iowa corn farmer who hears voices that command him to tear up his crops to build a baseball field. If he does, he believes that “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and other members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox might magically appear to play ball again.

The film version became a commercial hit, earning $64 million as well as three Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.