The award-winning author W.P. Kinsella died today at the age of 81 in Hope, B.C. after turning to assisted suicide to end his own life.
His literary agency confirms the writer had a doctor-assisted death on Friday,
The agency did not provide details about Kinsella’s health.
Kinsella was born in Edmonton in 1935.
He began writing very early in life, winning a YMCA contest at the age of 14.
Kinsella moved to Victoria in 1967 and ran a pizza restaurant called Caesar’s Italian Village and drove a taxi.
He started taking writing courses at the University of Victoria and earned a bachelor of arts in creative writing in 1974.
He went on to complete a master of fine arts in English through the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa.
Before becoming a professional author, Kinsella was a professor of English at the University of Calgary.
Kinsella published almost 30 books of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and was a winner of the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia.
He best known novel was 1982’s Shoeless Joe, about a farmer who hears a voice telling him to build a baseball field, and it was adapted into the popular Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams.
Kinsella’s agent Carolyn Swayze issued a statement on Friday saying Kinsella was “a unique, creative and outrageously opinionated man.”
Swayze said Kinsella persuaded her to become a literary agent in 1994 to represent his work.
“He was a dedicated storyteller, performer, curmudgeon and irascible and difficult man,” her statement said.
“Not a week has passed in the last 22 years, without [me] receiving a note of appreciation for Bill’s stories. His contribution will endure.”
He is survived by his two daughters, who the agency said cared for him in his final years, and several grandchildren.
The agency said he asked not to have a memorial service.
with files from CP