Prof. Thomas King
Professor emeritus Thomas King

University of Guelph professor emeritus Thomas King has won the 2021 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour for his autobiographically inspired novel, Indians on Vacation.

The $15,000 prize recognizes the best humour writing in Canada. A Canada-wide panel of judges chose King’s book as the winner from 77 submissions.

Indians on Vacation follows a couple who decide to travel through Europe after discovering postcards from a relative. The novel was also a finalist for the 2020 Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction.

A professor emeritus in U of G’s School of English and Theatre Studies who taught Indigenous literature, creative writing and American literature, King won a Governor General’s Literary Award for his 2014 novel, The Back of the Turtle.

His 2012 work of non-fiction called The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America won the $25,000 RBC Taylor Award among other honours.

King was recently promoted to a Companion of the Order of Canada — the highest grade within the Order — for his contributions to the preservation and recognition of Indigenous culture as one of North America’s most acclaimed literary figures.