Going the Distance with Kinsella

For William Steele, the Kevin Costner baseball movie Field of Dreams offered an introduction to the world of Alberta author William Patrick Kinsella. It was a common entry point for many fans of the Order of Canada recipient. What Steele didn’t know at the time was that he would devote decades of his life to researching and writing about the controversial author and his literature.

The result of Steele’s labour is the recently-released biography Going the Distance: The Life and Works of W.P. Kinsella. The book provides an extensive look at Kinsella’s early life, his adult years working odd jobs, and his ultimate success as an author. It also explores the Edmontonian’s writing – which generally fell into two categories: baseball stories and aboriginal tales – and the response to his somewhat controversial books.

Our own Ian Wilson of Alberta Dugout Stories had an hour-long conversation with Steele about Going the Distance.

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Kinsella at the Bat

Long before author William Patrick Kinsella ever dreamt about baseball in Iowa cornfields, he was a stimulus-starved child growing up in rural Alberta. What he lacked in local events and community activities as a homeschooled farm kid near Darwell – 75 kilometres northwest of Edmonton – Kinsella made up for using his imagination. 

That creativity served him well as a writer, as William Steele notes in his new biography, Going the Distance: The Life and Works of W.P. Kinsella. The book provides a comprehensive look at the man made famous for his 1982 novel Shoeless Joe, which was the basis of the seminal baseball movie Field of Dreams. 

Here is an excerpt from Going the Distance …

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From the Cornfields to Calgary

Before there was a Field of Dreams – be it the movie starring Kevin Costner, or the actual Iowa ball diamond etched into a cornfield – there was just a guy day-dreaming in a classroom about baseball. 

In this case, it was the teacher.

We look at Alberta-author W.P. Kinsella’s time as a professor at the University of Calgary.

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Five Oscar Worthy Movies We Like

It’s Oscar weekend in Los Angeles and – while Hollywood’s best and brightest gather to hand out Academy Awards – we thought this would be a good time to look at some of our favourite films that have been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In the category of Oscar-nominated movies containing some baseball content and some sort of ties to Alberta, here are the nominees …

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