2012 shortlist

The shortlist for the 2012 Leacock Medal and $15K prize, alphabetically:
Patrick deWitt — THE SISTERS BROTHERS  Excerpt
Shari Lapeña — HAPPINESS ECONOMICS  Excerpt
Robyn Michele Levy — MOST OF ME  Excerpt

The winner will be announced at the Leacock Luncheon in Orillia on April 26.
* Mariposa Inn, Hermitage Room, April 26, 12 p.m. (Doors open at 11:30.) * $20 includes a three-course lunch and a toast to Stephen Leacock.  * Tickets available through Donnajean Jeffries — 705 325-1757.

April 2/12, ORILLIA, ON: Four Canadian female writers have made the “final five” short list for the annual Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, bucking a trend that until recently has seen mostly men being nominated and then winning the prestigious national award.

The Leacock medal is awarded annually for the best book of humour written in the previous year by a Canadian. It has been awarded since 1947 and has gone to the likes of Pierre Berton, Robertson Davies, W.O. Mitchell and Stuart McLean. The last woman to win the award was Marsha Boulton in 1996 for Letters from the Country.

“The Stephen Leacock Associates are very happy to see that four of the five finalists are women,” stated president Michael Hill in announcing the top five. Susan Juby’s The Woefield Poultry Collective, Rupinder Gill’s On the Outside Looking Indian, Shari Lapeña’s Happiness Economics and Robyn Michele Levy’s Most of Me are all penned by Canadian female authors. Rounding out the list is Patrick deWitt for his book The Sisters Brothers.

The sixty-four books submitted for consideration made up a rather eclectic group of entries to be juried for their literary merit and humour. A panel of anonymous national judges along with a group of local readers in Orillia — Leacock’s historical lakeside retreat — sifted through the submissions, following a rigorous jury process to select the books they felt were deserving of being considered the top five humour books published in Canada last year.

The actual winner will be revealed at the Announcement Luncheon on April 26 at the Mariposa Inn in Orillia. The author of the winning book will then be feted at the annual Leacock Medal for Humour dinner at Geneva Park Conference Centre on June 9.

The chief sponsor of the medal, TD Financial Group, provides the winning entry with a $15,000 cheque. Each runner-up will also receive a financial reward.

“TD Bank Group is proud to sponsor the Leacock Association for their commitment to literacy and the encouragement they offer to such a talented group of Canadian authors,” said Roy D’Souza, District Vice President, Ontario North & East Region, TD Canada Trust. “Good luck to all of the authors being recognized on the short list!”

For further information, contact Michael Hill at 705-325-9843 or mghill@rogers.com.

13 thoughts on “2012 shortlist

  1. Why isn’t “Who Killed Mom?” by Steve Burgess on the shortlist? I reviewed it for The Globe and Mail in April 2011 and it was the funniest book I’ve read by a Canadian author in years. Oh, right, of course, it’s Midwestern humour. And dry, self-deprecating humour doesn’t go over in Toronto.

  2. I have to disagree. But seeing as how Stuart McLean has won, being funny doesn’t seem to be one of the criteria. This award is given to books that play it safe and offer little in the way of challenging or advancing humour.

  3. I am delighted to be involved in Words on the Water, a writers’ festival that recently featured Susan Juby (she’s hilarious) and Terry Fallis (everyone knows he is hilarious).

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