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Librarian's debut novel wins Leacock Medal

Heidi Jacobs with debut novel

The five-judge panel for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour announced Friday that UWindsor librarian Heidi Jacobs had claimed the honour.

Jacobs’ novel, Molly of the Mall: Literary Lass and Purveyor of Fine Footwear, was one of 84 submissions considered for the $15,000 annual award that celebrates Canadian authors in memory of Stephen Leacock and is presented to the best book of humour each year.

Set in Edmonton in the 1990s, Molly of the Mall allowed Jacobs to tell a unique story about the city she grew up in and shares the story of Molly MacGregor, a character she created nearly 20 years ago while working toward her Ph.D. in English at the University of Nebraska.

“My American colleagues were amused and entertained by my Canadian antics, so I kept writing it,” said Jacobs.  “It reflects Canada’s distinctive type of humour and the way humour is such a key part of Canadian life and culture.”

Jacobs called it “incredibly humbling” to have been nominated and is honoured to be recognized as this year’s recipient.

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the medal and cash prizes will not be awarded as usual at a gala dinner but will be mailed to the winners. Jacobs and the runners-up will be celebrated instead at the 2021 dinner.