The stories in this collection range in tone from zaniness to pathos. Among the tales are the bizarre "Reports Concerning the Death of the Seattle Albatross Are Somewhat Exaggerated," about a mascot from outer space who really looks like a bird and the touching "Valley of the Schmoon," told by a man who has lost everything without having the faintest idea why. Or "K-Mart," about the betrayals and losses in growing up, trying to restore life as it should be and was in boyhood baseball day.
Canadian author W.P. Kinsella was born in 1935 on a farm in Northern Alberta and did not receive his B.A. in creative writing until he was thirty-nine. Before that, Kinsella held a series of odd jobs including working as a taxi driver, selling insurance, and managing a restaurant. While he began writing short fiction at seventeen, Kinsella did not see publication until 1979 with his work Dance Me Outside. He became a sensation in 1982 with Shoeless Joe, a novel about an Iowa man who digs up part of his cornfield in order to build a baseball field. This novel was an elaboration of his short story, "Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes to Iowa," which won the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship and was made into the popular film Field of Dreams in 1989.
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