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Iowa Time Machine: W.P. Kinsella's 'Shoeless Joe' - May 12, 1982

Iowa Time Machine ⏰: On May 12, 1982, author W.P. Kinsella released his Iowa set book “Shoeless Joe.” Expanded from Kinsella's short story "Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes to Iowa,” the book served as the basis for the 1989 film Field of Dreams.

Canadian novelist W.P. Kinsella first developed the idea for the story while attending the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Kinsella decided to incorporate the stories he told about the Black Sox Scandal by imagining Shoeless Joe Jackson coming back from the ether of the past to the Iowa countryside.

In the story, Ray Kinsella lives and farms in Iowa where he grows corn with his wife Annie and their five-year-old daughter Karin. Obsessed with the beauty and history of American baseball, specifically the plight of his hero, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and the Black Sox Scandal of the 1919 World Series, Kinsella hears a voice telling him to build a baseball field in the midst of his corn crop in order to give his hero a chance at redemption. 

When Kinsella blindly follows instructions. The field becomes a conduit to the spirits of baseball legends. Kinsella soon sets off on a cross-country trip to ease the pain of another hero, the reclusive writer J.D. Salinger, as part of a journey the Philadelphia Inquirer called "not so much about baseball as it's about dreams, magic, life, and what is quintessentially American." #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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