Books

Indians on Vacation by Thomas King among 10 books longlisted for $15K Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour

The prize is awarded to the most humorous Canadian book of the year. The three finalists will be announced on May 3, 2021, with the winner being announced on June 4, 2021.

The prize is awarded to the most humorous Canadian book of the year

Indians on Vacation is a novel by Thomas King. (CBC/Sinisa Jolic, HarperCollins Publishers)

Thomas King is among the 10 writers longlisted for the 2020 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour.

The prize, worth $15,000, is awarded to the most humorous Canadian book of the year.

King is nominated for his novel Indians on Vacation.

Indians on Vacation is about a couple named Bird and Mimi, who decide to travel through Europe after discovering postcards from Mimi's long-lost Uncle Leroy, who sent them while on his own European adventure almost 100 years ago.

The Leacock nomination is the latest accolade for Indians on Vacation. The novel was also on the 2020 Writers's Trust Fiction Prize shortlist. It was also on the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.

King is a Canadian-American writer of Cherokee and Greek ancestry. His books include Truth & Bright WaterThe Inconvenient IndianGreen Grass, Running Water and The Back of the Turtle. He also writes the DreadfulWater mystery series.

Thomas King talks about the autobiographical inspiration by his novel Indians on Vacation, which is longlisted for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize. 16:47

The Leacock Medal is named in honour of teacher, humour writer and political scientist Stephen Leacock. His best-known book is the 1912 work Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town.

Leacock had a summer estate in Orillia, Ont., the town which was the inspiration for Sunshine Sketches of a Little TownThe memorial medal is now based in Orillia.

The 10-title longlist was selected by a panel of unnamed readers and judges from across the country. Seventy-seven books were submitted for consideration.

The complete longlist is:

The three finalists will be announced on May 3, 2021, with the winner being announced on June 4, 2021.

There is usually a celebration in Orillia to honour the winner and finalists, but it is cancelled for the second year in a row.

The 2019 and 2020 finalists will be invited to the 2022 gala, which will celebrate the finalists from 2019, 2020 and 2021.

2022 will mark the prize's 75th anniversary. The award has been given out regularly since 1947. 

Last year's winner was Heidi L.M. Jacobs for her novel Molly at the Mall.

Other past winners include Robertson Davies, Pierre Berton, Farley Mowat, Paul Quarrington, Mordecai Richler, Stuart McLean, Terry Fallis, Susan Juby and Cassie Stocks.

In October 2020, the prize announced that Dunkley Charitable Foundation would be coming on as its new sponsor.

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