Canadian novelist WP Kinsella, who wrote the book that became the hugely successful film Field of Dreams, has died, aged 81. 

Kinsella’s death on Friday, in Hope, British Columbia was doctor-assisted. Assisted deaths became legal in Canada in June of this year.  Kinsella's 1982 novel, Shoeless Joe became the basis for the 1989 Oscar-nominated movie Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Kostner, James Earl Jones and Ray Liotta. 

In the tale, a farmer hears a voice urging him to build a baseball diamond on his farm. When he does, Shoeless Joe Jackson and other legendary baseball players magically return to life to play games of baseball.

Particular usages in Kinsella’s book have become popular through the film which faithfully carried over the immortal phrases, “If you build it, they will come” and “Go the distance.” 

“I wrote it 30 years ago, and the fact that people are still discovering it makes me proud, " the writer said of his best-known novel. "It looks like it will stand the test of time.” 

Much of Kinsella’s work dealt with baseball and he published some 30 books of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

The writer was utterly enthralled by Field of Dreams and was moved to tears when he first saw the movie. In 2011 the Canadian baseball Hall of Fame presented him with the Jack Graney Award for a significant contribution to the game of baseball in Canada. 

Kinsella was married three times and is survived by two daughters, who the literary agency says cared for him in his final years, and several grandchildren. He taught as a professor of English at the University of Calgary.The novelist has asked that there be no memorial service.

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