THE VERY BEST OF W. P. KINSELLA is about life and the human condition, often with a bit of the “fantastic” thrown in
That scanning project is short story collection The Very Best of W. P. Kinsella, forthcoming in 2015 from Tachyon Publications.And the project is indeed huge: approximately 138,000 words of fiction, all of which has to be scanned, then cleaned up and formatted, and finally copy edited.
There are a few other baseball stories in this collection, but you don’t need to know anything about baseball to enjoy these tales: baseball merely serves as a backdrop to these stories, which are about life and the human condition, often with a bit of the “fantastic” thrown in. My favorite story in the collection is “K Mart” – but don’t let the title fool you: it’s the story of lost childhood love, nostalgia, and survival, all amidst the backdrop of a neighborhood dirt-lot baseball game, a game that seemed endless (to the children playing it), but only lasted throughout the summer months.W. P. Kinsella is also well-known for his “First Nation” stories about the indigenous Cree on the Hobbema Reserve near Edmonton, Canada. These stories reflect the Cree’s destitute and disadvantaged culture, yet add an element of humor by exploring the convoluted situations (and shenanigans) they get into trying to survive in a world dominated by white people. But even with the element of humor, there is a sadness to all of these stories. What is especially delightful about these stories is that Kinsella’s characters – Silas (the narrator), Frank Fencepost, Mad Etta, Bedelia Coyote, Sadie One-wound, and Rufus Firstrider, to name just a few – appear in all the stories. By the time you finish reading this collection, you’ll certainly consider them acquaintances, if not friends.
Read the rest of Halpern’s insightful commentary at More Red Ink.
For information about The Very Best of W. P. Kinsella, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Thomas Canty.
Design by Elizabeth Story.