William Patrick Kinsella, a Canadian author of stories and novels, has attracted fans internationally with his imaginative and humorous fictions. He claims that the combination of reading and loneliness stirred his creativity. Being alone he needed to entertain himself and did so by reading and writing. This turned him into an admirable author. His most famous novel Shoeless Joe is said to be "a balancing act sustained by the absolutely fearless, sentimentality-risking honesty of the author" (Collier 135). This story portrays the economic problems of the 70's and 80's. Kinsella also uses the theme of going for your dreams and the main conflict of man versus society. .
During the 1970's, America was enduring an economic recession it had not seen since the Great Depression. By 1982, the unemployment rate hit 10.8%. At this time approximately twelve million Americans were out of a job and had no income (Moss 317). For example, before Ray bought the farm in Iowa, he went to college and chose to be a life insurance salesman. However, he was unable to find a job (Kinsella 10). Ray was one of the millions of people who had troible finding work during the 1980's. Kinsella is trying to show that during this time of recession, it was difficult for someone coming right out of college, to start a career. Luckily, Ray fell in love with Iowa, met his wife and bought a farm. Buying a farm was incredibly risky though. After the Vietnam War, the economy and agricultural prices sunk to new lows. These troubles continued throughout the 1970s and early 1980s (Moss 317). Ray describes his bills as, "I look at the payments that will be due in the fall and I have a sinking feeling within me, as if an elevator has dropped five floors" (Kinsella 186). It did not help Ray's problems to plow down one-fourth of his crops to build a baseball field, but many people at this time were plowing their field.