Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

What is the relationship between nostalgia and magic in W. P. Kinsella’s work?

Does Kinsella seem to have an optimistic or a pessimistic view of the world?

Kinsella often plays around with time and time travel. What does he accomplish by doing this?

Race is at the center of Kinsella’s work. How do you feel about his portrayal of Canadian Indians?

A North American Indian character in Kinsella’s The Iowa Baseball Confederacy says, “Baseball is the one single thing that the white man has done right.” How does this statement relate to Kinsella’s literary vision?

What are the unifying elements in Kinsella’s fiction between baseball and Canadian Indian culture?

Shoeless Joe is Kinsella’s best-known work, but it is by no means canonical. Why do you think Kinsella has not received the same sort of consideration as writers like Bernard Malamud and John Updike, who have also written about baseball?