W.P. Kinsella, the Canadian novelist whose writing about baseball was the basis for the 1989 film “Field of Dreams,” died Friday at 81 with the help of a doctor acting under Canada’s new physician-assisted suicide law, his literary agent said in a statement.
“He was a dedicated storyteller, performer, curmudgeon, an irascible and difficult man,” said Carolyn Swayze, his agent, adding Mr. Kinsella persuaded her to become a literary agent. “His fiction has made people laugh, cry, and think for decades and will do so for decades to come.”
Mr. Kinsella’s health had taken a sudden turn for the worst due to his struggles with diabetes; he had been in the hospital for the past two weeks, said Willie Steele, an English professor at Nashville, Tenn.’s Lipscomb University who has been working on a biography of Mr. Kinsella since 2012. Mr. Steele said he knew Mr. Kinsella was pursuing physician-assisted death.