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Though born 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. 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 English there in 1974. He traveled 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 most famous work is Shoeless Joe, 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 the Variety magazine apologizing to Kinsella for the error. Kinsella's short stories about life on a First Nations reserve were the basis for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television series The Rez.
Before becoming a professional author, he worked as a scout for the Atlanta Braves and was a professor of English at the University of 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 baseball's 1994 work stoppage. He currently lives in Yale, British Columbia with his fourth wife, Barbara, and occasionally writes articles for various newspapers.
In 1993, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2005, he was awarded the Order of British Columbia.
- Dance Me Outside - 1977 (Movie adaptation: Dance Me Outside, 1994)
- Scars - 1978
- Shoeless Joe Jackson Goes To Iowa - 1980
- Born Indian - 1981
- Shoeless Joe - 1982 (winner of the 1983 Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship)
- Moccasin Telegraph - 1983
- The Thrill of the Grass - 1984
- The Last Pennant Before Armageddon - 1984
- The Alligator Report - 1985
- Five Stories - 1985
- The Iowa Baseball Confederacy - 1986
- The Fence Post Chronicles - 1986 (winner of the 1987 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour)
- Red Wolf, Red Wolf - 1987
- The Further Adventures of Slugger McBatt - 1988 (U.S. title: Go the Distance)
- The Miss Hobbema Pageant - 1989
- Box Socials - 1991
- The Dixon Cornbelt League and Other Baseball Stories - 1993
- Brother Frank's Gospel Hour - 1994
- The Winter Helen Dropped By - 1995
- If Wishes Were Horses - 1996
- Magic Time - 1998
- The Secret of the Northern Lights - 1998
- Baseball Fantastic - 2000
- Japanese Baseball and Other Stories - 2000
- ↑ BC Bookword Author Bank, http://www.abcbookworld.com/?state=view_author&author_id=2671